Monday, October 18, 2010

Why I hate the last week of October

The Fall

I love the Fall season. I do, the leaves change color, the temperature is perfect for wearing sweatshirts the air just feels fresh and crisp, the Fall is an awesome season. All except for the last week of October…I do not like the last week of October…

October 29, 2007

After waiting for hours in a small room at UPMC-Presby the doctors finally made their way in to speak to us. It was the day we first heard with certainty that Jen indeed had a brain tumor. It was the beginning of the day when I actually realized that life would never be the same ever again.

I can remember feeling disbelief…like their had a to be a mistake. Their was no way this is happening to us…it can’t be happening to us…it can’t. The doctor said that we needed to get a biopsy of the tumor to determine the exact type. I can remember trying to be strong but my face said it all. My thoughts went to the girls…what would happen, how would we, who would they, how could we…it was just so surreal. Jen asked the hard question that I could not “how long do I have”. The reply was cold and direct – “you’re looking at two to five years depending on how aggressive it grows”.

One thing I will never forget is the coldness in the doctor’s voice and how it all seemed so matter of fact to him…I will carry that with me forever. I needed to get Jen out of there…we drove to a park near our house and walked. We couldn’t believe what we just heard…our lives and the lives of our family were never the same after that day.

October 31, 2008

We spent a couple of grueling days at the hospital…Jen was subjected to a series of long tests for a very new experimental treatment. In a nutshell the treatment involved using your own bodies DNA to help combat the tumor…very different and very radical from the conventional treatments. We both let ourselves get somewhat optimistic…after all from a logical view this made sense, use your own bodies DNA to fight the foreign body (the tumor) inside your body.

We didn’t get home until 4:00pm after a long couple of days. The phone rang at 4:45pm…it was the doctor in charge of the new study. He was informing us that he did not think we were a good candidate for the study since the MRI done earlier that morning showed growth of the tumor. We were crushed! I can remember putting on a good tough show for Jen but inside I was just crushed.

Trick or Treating was starting at 5:30. The girls were so excited to go around the neighborhood and collect candy…and here are Jen and I sobbing together and trying desperately to hold it together. It was one of the worst moments of my life at that point. Again a moment I will never forget.

October 2009

I don’t’ have anything in particular for October 2009…honestly I was just sort of numb at that point. The first few months after Jen’s passing I was going through the motions…I honestly don’t recall that much from last year. The one thing I do remember is that I didn’t take the girls to the pumpkin patch where we use to go as a family…I just couldn’t.

October 2010

I still love the Fall…but I can’t wait for Halloween to be done and over with…I will make new memories…I will, but for now until then it’s going to be a hard few weeks. The girls wanted to go to the pumpkin patch last Sunday and I still can’t do it…I’m just not ready…


  1. Bill,

    You have shown and continue to show a great deal of strength and courage. You have been such a huge inspiration to me over the last year and you continue to inspire. Your words of support and praise for me as I needed to stand up for myself this past year meant a lot to me.

    There hasn’t been a single long run in my training where I have not thought about you, about Jen’s battle and about the conversation we had in London when you were talking about all the plans you and Jen had. These thoughts keep me strong, knowing that whatever little challenge I might be facing I can overcome it based on watching you and how you have courageously and honestly embraced life again with your girls after the most heartbreaking loss. I will never, ever forget your words at the memorial service and how they touched me and everyone else who was there to support you and your family.

    I know I’m not alone in wishing there was something I could say or do for you, my friend, to ease these painful memories…but I know there isn’t. Please just know that we care and we are here for you.

  2. So sorry. Sending you good thoughts this time of year. I hope you can enjoy the season a little bit with your daughters. I know it's hard.

  3. I will be praying for you and your girls, that you can remember the good and also that you are able to build new good memories.


Inside Bill's Head -- Previously Known as (Inside the Head of a Grieving Single Dad)

In August of 2009 my wife Jennifer passed away from an Anaplastic Astrocytoma Brain Tumor. She was only 38 years old. She left me and our two little girls Abbie and Allie to continue life’s journey.

I promised her that I would NOT become angry and bitter about what order to do that I am attempting to write to express my thoughts and feelings.

This site is a place where I can express my thoughts, feelings and rants...