RTR News: As I Catch Up

I want to apologize to readers and publishers/agents waiting for more reviews. I'll try to be short, but my life's taken a turn and it's been a process.

My dad used to review books for me and handle the website updates. He was also a very passionate genealogy guru, and he devoted countless hours to helping organizations within Vermont update their records and cemetery information.

We happened to share the same birthday. I was born on the day he turned 36. This year we made our plans for our usually get together on the weekend with the entire family and have a pint together. A couple days before that event, he had a seizure. The med center ran tests, found nothing alarming, and sent him home. We still had our gathering, but it was different. He was seeing things that weren't there. He had a hard time staying awake, even falling asleep at dinner. We were told it would take his body a few days to recover from the seizure and not to be worried about his excessive sleepiness.

Our actual birthday arrived, and I had a day off from my work at Costco and expected to have a quiet day of reading. Instead, I got a call that my dad had a stroke. He was found unresponsive on the bathroom floor. We all rushed to the hospital where it was determined he had a stroke and that his entire left side wasn't functioning. Despite this, his first worry was for his older sister who'd also had a stroke weeks earlier and found she had breast cancer that had spread past the point of being able to offer any treatment. We took that as a good sign, but it was shortlived.

Additional testing found my dad had a glioblastoma. This brain tumor was already the size of a grapefruit and there was nothing that could be done. They couldn't even think of treating the tumor until he could breathe on his own and swallow properly, but the stroke and tumor left him unable to do either. He was moved to a local respite house where he passed away.

My mom was diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment a few years ago. I've since learned that it's progressed to Alzheimer's disease, but my dad never shared that information or didn't hear the doctor say it. Dad was her caregiver. His death left a huge gap emotionally and physically. Life's become a jumble of being there for her, attending more appointments than ever before, trying to work the hours I'm scheduled, keeping up with writing work, and trying to fit in time for reading. I can't do it all.

Until everything settles down, I don't expect to post reviews daily. I barely can find time to read. I do appreciate messages I've gotten from those who know the situation. Having supportive friends and acquaintances has been a huge help. Thank you for that.


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