This site is an epilogue to a blog I started more than five years ago. That blog – Healing Ana – focused on the day to day challenges of my daughter’s struggle with cancer. I launched it on August 25th, 2012 when she was 11. That was the day she was hospitalized with intractable stomach pain. Three weeks later she would be diagnosed with a rare, malignant tumor called Inflammatory Myofibroblastic Tumor (IMT). There were no treatment protocols for this tumor beyond surgery which was considered a cure.
For Ana, this meant she needed a complete liver transplant because the tumor had originated in her portal vein and spread to her liver. By the time she was diagnosed, it was the size of a cantaloupe. I continued to blog through her liver transplant in February 2013 and through her brief remission that same year. But, as it turned out, surgery was not a cure. The cancer came back, spreading throughout her abdomen and lungs. I continued to blog about her relapse in 2014 and the year after that, through surgery after surgery, treatment after treatment– and the year after that, through more treatment, through hospice, through the agonizing process of watching her fade, of losing her.
Ana grew and changed and lived her life with pain, with hope, with loneliness, and determination.
Through it all…I wrote.
I wrote after she died on March 22nd, 2017 – this time my focus was grief. There would be no more healing for Ana. The old blog doesn’t feel like the right place to keep writing. I’m on my own now. The purpose of The Halfway Path is to write about this place I now find myself–a place between the living and the dead–between hope and despair. My reality is different. I am forever changed. What is The Halfway Path? I’m not sure I know yet, but I know I’m not alone in this foreign place of child loss. I hope, soon, more people will join me in writing about the unique landscape of parental grief. Together, we can hold each other up. Until then, it’s just me, wandering along the edge of the world.