I am the mom of 12-year-old Hannah, the wife of steadfast, dear Marshall (for 26 years), the only child of salt-of-the earth Jim and Betty; I am a children's book author, a freelance editor, a former legal editor and former prosecutor who was suddenly diagnosed with brain cancer on Sunday, January 17th, 2016. This website is an unfiltered account of my unexpected journey, the focal point of my support community, my way of reaching out for help, and a sacred space for me to try to process all I am going through. Be with me now. I need you.

Ways to Help

Accompany Me: Follow My Unexpected Journey Blog

The only way I know to get through this diagnosis is to be completely transparent in all that I am feeling and experiencing. I will use this blog to update my friends and relatives about what I'm going through emotionally, spiritually and physically so everyone can read about my adventures all in one place.

More importantly, this is the space where I'll be processing my journey - trying to make sense of it, riddling out all the existential questions, hopes and fears that arise, and letting all my emotions play out as they must and will. Writing is my sacred space, and I am choosing to make my writings about this public because it just seems to be the right thing for me.

Click Here to Read My Unexpected Journey Blog

Ways to Help

Ways to Help

I've realized early in this journey that I will need a lot of help, understanding, kindness, prayers, and support to get through this. Love, connection, and community will be the key ingredients that will empower and accompany me along the way. I know I am not alone; I don't want to be.

But there are other needs we are starting to realize too. I can't drive for at least six months and will need transportation and help with errands and groceries. I feel lousy sometimes and know I will need help with meals and maybe even house cleaning (although I got a little robot vacuum cleaner for Christmas that is truly awesome and is helping!). It is possible that I will need people to just sit with me to make sure I am okay when family members have their own appointments or need a little respite. We might need friends to help with our dog when I am in the hospital or doctors' appointments. I can already feel a "wish list" of books and other items that might be helpful for me to have or borrow for awhile.

I'm trying to get over myself and just go ahead and put my needs out there. I know people really do want to help. I've wished I could "do" something for friends in need but sometimes it's hard to know what to do. What the heck, I'm just going to say it. I need help.

Ways to Help

Helping Financially: Donating, Purchasing, and Promoting My Writing

Helping Financially: Donating, Purchasing, and Promoting My Writing

Here's the hardest part to say in public. We are going to have some substantial medical, pharmaceutical, physical therapy, and psychological counseling bills as we move into this adventure. We've got pretty good health insurance, but we're guestimating $25,000-$30,000 in out of pocket expenses in just the first year, not including medications (chemo, radiation), which we hope will be covered by insurance.

My dear high school friend, Kelly Bentley, has set up a "Go Fund Me" site to help raise money for my medical bills. Any contributions you can make would be a huge blessing.

To complicate matters further, Marshall's law firm of 16 years unexpectedly disbanded on December 31, 2015. He just started a new solo law practice about two weeks before my diagnosis. The timing of my illness is exceptionally poor in this regard (I had just started helping him out in his office), and we may not have enough cash flow to cover our monthly living expenses after mid-March. This is particularly stressful for Marshall. I am worried about him.

I've contemplated how I might be able contribute to our family's income during this time, and have decided to
1) Ask for donations on this blog,
2) Offer some of my downloadable contemplative essays and lectures on writing for sale on this website,
3) Ask people to buy, give, donate, review and promote my novel, When the Whistle Blows, so I can generate royalty payments for income for my family's future, and
4) Ask any children's book editors who visit this site to contact my agent, Linda Pratt at Wernick and Pratt Agency, to take a peek at a couple of my picture book manuscripts that she has for sale, in case they might fit your list. What the heck.

The idea of using my writing to help generate income for my family is an empowering thought for me right now, so please spread the word however you feel comfortable and can. If When the Whistle Blows can become a best seller, it would help secure the future for my family and ease my mind. Thanks.

How to purchase my books and spread the word.

Kindness, and noticing kindness, definitely makes things better.