Cancer, Caregiving, Contentious Love

Hugh, Dad, and Mom at my daughter's high school graduation 2005.
Hugh, Dad, and Mom at my daughter’s high school graduation 2005.

Another bump in life. My husband, Hugh Blair (pictured with my parents during my daughter’s graduation in 2005) entered the surgical theater on Friday morning, July 17th, 2015 to remove a malignant tumor from his colon. The cancer seemed contained, and the surgery went well. At about 3:00 pm that afternoon, Hugh’s liver shocked, an artery burst, and he quit coagulating blood. After another 2.5-hour surgery, Hugh began to shut down. His organs were quietly quitting. At 2:38 am on Saturday morning, July 18th, Hugh left me and my daughter behind to fend on our own.

Life surely goes on. But, what a waste of a man who loved me so.

So…now to rewrite what I’ve written, as I can’t leave this man behind.


Joanne in 1951.
Joanne in 1951.

Linda Goin’s first memoir is about cancer, caregiving, and the contentious love that was shared between the writer and her caree. Linda’s mother, Joanne, was diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct cancer, otherwise known as CC or BDC) in March 2013. The odds for remission were nonexistent.

Despite the fact that the majority of CC patients rarely live six months past diagnosis, Joanne lived until June 7, 2014 — a full and fairly active 15 months that consumed her family as well as Joanne’s body. Linda was the primary caregiver, although she wasn’t aware what “caregiving” meant at the time.

Cancer, Caregiving, and Contentious Love looks at the devastation that cancer brings to a family, especially a cancer as ravenous as CC. The book also brings to light the caregiver’s role. This information is valuable, especially for individuals who find themselves taking care of parents, spouses, children, and even elderly neighbors.

Caregiving is as sneaky as cholangiocarcinoma…it can overcome your life if you aren’t aware of what’s happening; but, taking care of someone else can be a rewarding experience if you know your odds.

“There are four kinds of people in the world: Those who have been caregivers; those who currently are caregivers; those who will be caregivers; and those who will need caregivers.” ~ Rosalynn Carter, Former First Lady

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