Author Archives: Beth L. Gainer

My Father’s Dying; They Just Turn Their Backs

Posted on: March 12th, 2018 by

After a harrowing few years filled with suffering from end-stage Parkinson’s disease, his days are finally coming to an end. My dad has stopped eating, and now all my family can do is sit and wait. For a doctor’s phone call. Understandably, this is a difficult time for my family, made even more difficult by [Read the full story …]

I’m Not Your Punching Bag

Posted on: January 19th, 2018 by

Awhile ago, I wrote a post about those breast cancer support group members who were more of an albatross to me than a help. You can read about it here. Within the last year or so, two of the three offending, most insidious group members, D and S, contacted me. As I haven’t had … [Read the full story …]

2018: My Three Words

Posted on: January 12th, 2018 by

For 2018, I’m continuing the tradition that fellow blogger Philippa Ramsden started: blogging about the three words that will guide me this year. (To check out Philippa’s three words for 2018, click here.) As my readers know, 2017 witnessed me getting laid off and losing my beloved aunt soon after. My precious aunt was … [Read the full story …]

Six-Word Memoir

Posted on: January 5th, 2018 by

I’m going to begin 2018 with a rather short-but-challenging post: creating a six-word memoir. This is an assignment I will eventually be asking my students to complete, so I feel that I should do the assignment as well. So, without further ado, here it is: Mother. Family. Cancer. PTSD. Friends. Lucky. Feel free to share [Read the full story …]

Twelve Twenty-Six

Posted on: December 26th, 2017 by

I don’t remember all my cancerversary dates. But I remember December 26 all too well. Like it was yesterday. It was the beginning of my cancer nightmare. Weeks before this date, I found a weird-but-subtle dimple on my right breast during my monthly breast self exam. My doctor said “It is probably nothing,” but he [Read the full story …]

Holiday Fun

Posted on: December 22nd, 2017 by

With Christmas fast approaching, people are getting ready to create new memories and new traditions or reinforce established ones. So, in the spirit of the holidays, I figured I’d share my perspective on the holiday season in general. As people know, Ari and I celebrate Chanukah, but we also appreciate other holidays. 1. My favorite [Read the full story …]

Guilty Pleasures

Posted on: December 14th, 2017 by

These days, I’m feeling guilty. My father is faring badly hundreds of miles away. My mom’s anguish is palpable. I’ve been frantically advocating for him and trying to calm her down. All by phone. I have to be prepared to leave to Florida at a moment’s notice. But lately, and — this is the crux [Read the full story …]

Coping Tools

Posted on: December 7th, 2017 by

As my readers know, 2017 has been a real crucible for me. Let’s face it, I’m ready to put 2017 in the books and welcome 2018 wholeheartedly. As someone who has experienced steadfast grief, sadness, and emotional duress in 2017 — with the lowest points being my aunt’s death and the up-and-down-and-down health of my [Read the full story …]

Slipping Away

Posted on: November 30th, 2017 by

My dad is slipping away, ever so slowly. His Parkinson’s disease is now impeding his swallowing. I’ve been frantically calling his speech therapist, who is working hard with him on improving his ability to swallow. As of today, he’s dehydrated and on IV fluids. As of today, he has pneumonia and has had blood drawn. [Read the full story …]


Posted on: November 22nd, 2017 by

In the United States, we are about to celebrate Thanksgiving, a national holiday where we get together for a meal with our loved ones and reflect about what we are grateful for. Personally, I don’t just save my gratitude thoughts just for Thanksgiving; I am grateful for many things year-round. But 2017 found me challenged [Read the full story …]