This book is our shared story of confronting the sudden catastrophic illness of a family member. It recounts our experience as we tried to find new ways of holding each other and sharing our fears and frustrations while trying to stay connected. We wanted to embrace whatever time we would have fully and, amidst the stress, find laughter, love, and even joy.
The challenges were overwhelming for each of us separately and for us as a family. How would we come together and encourage each other, while simultaneously needing so much support ourselves? How would each of us manage the challenges of our individual lives while trying to pull together as a family? And how would we go on without David if we had to?
Our book is ultimately not about cancer or death. It’s about living as well as one can with the sharp, sudden awareness of an everyday fact: we are all on borrowed time. It is our way of trying to make meaning of a situation that all families either have faced or will face. Ours is not a unique story. It is the human condition, simply intensified by circumstance. We all live on the knife’s edge. This is our family’s experience of it.
David has survived so far. While preparing for the worst, we’ve been blessed by the best. We know that there are no guarantees that there won’t be a recurrence of cancer, but our chances, once so bleak, are excellent. Compared to how much suffering and loss other families face, we know how fortunate we’ve been.
We hope to share with other families our struggle to stay close despite our individual differences in life stages, understanding, and coping styles. What it’s been like for each of us. What we’ve learned, what we’ve lost, and how we’ve changed for better and for worse.
Writing this book together has changed us both individually and as a family in surprising and unexpected ways. We offer you our story in the hope you will feel less alone with yours. All families, each of us in our own way, are trying to find their way home before dark.