Family First



I’ve tried to keep TouringNH strictly about New Hampshire and all of the beautiful places you can visit here. Last year, shortly after I started this blog, my mom passed away and I wrote a tribute post entitled Crystal River. It took me a few weeks after I returned to NH to get back on track

Fast forward almost a year, I’ve covered almost 40 wonderful towns and met some of the coolest people. I have tried exceedingly hard to maintain my self imposed “town a week schedule” it hasn’t always been as easy as I might have made it seem.

What only a very few of my followers know is everything else that has been going on during this time. Last November, my oldest stepson was diagnosed with Stage 4B Hodgkins Lymphoma. At the age of 33, the last thing you think about is getting cancer. I was still in Florida with my dad when I got the news. I drove up to North Carolina to be with Steven and his wife to be. I went to the first of many, many doctors appointments with him and Christine and within a week Steven had his first chemo treatment. I headed home to my husband who had been getting the full effect of “For better or worse” Many of my stepson’s friends and other family members did their best to make sure someone was always in NC to lend a hand if needed, back in NH an awesome benefit was held to help raise money for the bills that would start pouring in. Steven and Christine had been living in NC for almost 3 years and had built up a network of new friends who were all as helpful as their NH friends. We all knew he could beat this!!! Treatment was progressing well and we were all confident of the positive outcome, so things in NC seemed under control. The first chemo didn’t have the desired result, so he moved on the a more aggressive chemo, ICE. I can’t tell you what the letters stand for, only that it is the name of the drugs in the chemo cocktail. 3 treatments later, again not the desired results…

Back in NH, my father-in-law has been battling prostate cancer. His cancer was caught early, so we all thought the prognosis would be a full recovery. What we didn’t know at that time was that he also has bladder cancer. The doctors didn’t know it either, at first they thought that the prostate cancer had spread, not that it was a different kind of cancer all together. This is about where things go from bad to worse!

One week before I came back down to NC to lend support to my stepson and daughter-in-law, we put my father-in-law into the care of Hospice, nothing else can be done but to keep him comfortable. Knowing the end is near does not help you prepare for it, no matter what you think. In NC, we made an emergency move when his oncologist said “there is nothing else we can do here”. We got him moved to Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, NC. He will be starting a very aggressive chemo treatment in the morning. This will be the 4th type if chemo they have tried.

I have told you all of this because I have a duty to my followers to keep TouringNH, but I also have a duty to my family. I was going to suspend writing my blog until everything calmed down in my life. But, on the advice of one of those wonderful people I met while Touring NH, I’ve decide to only relax my “town a week” policy until then. I am going to keep posting towns when I can. It is therapeutic for me to get out with my camera and take in the sites. She also suggested that I add a page to my blog and keep my followers and friends updated. I may do that but right now…family first.

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11 Comments on “Family First”

  1. Martha Schaefer September 4, 2013 at 1:15 am #

    Courage, Strength and Honesty. That is why we following you. Keep your camera at the ready and your heart open. We are here for you.

  2. New Hampshire Garden Solutions September 4, 2013 at 3:05 pm #

    I’m sorry that you are going through such trials Laura, but as you say, family has to come first. I think we’ll survive without regular weekly postings. I hope things get better for you soon.

    • Touring NH September 4, 2013 at 6:32 pm #

      Thank you. Soon would be good!

  3. Sandy Snow September 4, 2013 at 6:16 pm #

    Laura, that is an awful lot for you and your family to endure! If you have to miss some postings on your tour of NH, don’t worry. Everyone enjoys your photos and comments immensely. But family has to come first. Sandy

  4. --K. September 14, 2013 at 11:00 am #

    Followed you here from a comment left on New Hampshire Garden Solutions. Sending you and your family positive thoughts and wishes that things turn around soon. In the meantime, I’m enjoying visiting your archives. –Karen

  5. November 16, 2013 at 9:49 pm #

    Laura, I’m so sorry that your family is going through such a difficult time. They are blessed to have you as their rock with your wonderful positive attitude. We will be sending all our healing thoughts to your family. All the best, Terri & James

    • Touring NH November 17, 2013 at 12:00 am #

      Thank you, Teri and James. With all of these hard time, it is wonderful to know we are cared about and thought about

    • Touring NH November 17, 2013 at 11:35 am #

      Thank you. We are staying as positive as possible.

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