As most of you know, GPYP/GPYB would not exist without Michael. He was the one who encouraged me and kept telling me that though I was a busy lawyer, people needed my help and he kept encouraging me to do the blog on the side and write the book. Even though they were two more things that took my time away from him (which he loved–spending time with me), he encouraged me in these endeavors and without him neither the GPYB blog nor the book would exist. Each year we’ve been participating in a fund raiser to raise money for desperately needed research and treatment for the disease that killed him. In 2011 we did the Race for Hope in Washington DC and last year and this year we are doing the NY Brain Tumor Walk on beautiful Governor’s Island.

If you are interested in donating to our team, all contributions go directly to the NBTS and are tax deductible. And we THANK YOU SO MUCH for your support in this effort as Michael supported my effort in getting this blog and book to all of you.

If you donate, please be sure to leave your home address as I send thank you cards via US mail afterward. If not, I’ll email you but I find that so impersonal when someone has donated to something as special as this is or means as much to me as this does.

Thank you so much.

The Michael A. DiCarlo Brain Tumor Foundation “Get M.A.D. at Brain Cancer!” 2013 team fund raising page

Photos from our last 2 events:

2012 NYC Brain Tumor Walk

2011 Race for Hope in Washington DC


I’ve read a lot of poems, cried to a lot of books, movies etc, but this one hit me hard. HARD. It just sums up so much of how I have felt over the past 4 years.

Do Others Feel Like Me?

I sometimes still think I hear his voice
in the words I hear myself say.
I think I see him in the crowd,
but I can’t get to him before he fades away.

I’m still not convinced this is all real.
I’m hanging on to the chance that it’s not.
It’s not the reality I want,
but painfully it’s the only one I’ve got.

Do you know how it is when your world,
your reality, and everything go?
The colors, they fade,
and time moves too fast or too slow.

When you realize there’s only so little you can sleep,
you wish it’d been a nightmare and hope for a dream
and you see that the medicine cabinet’s only so deep.

But this is one thing that is just exactly as it seems,
the hot-lava tears that run down your face
and the sad songs that seem to repeat,
when you’re lying in your bed with the curtains drawn
still feeling so unbelievably beat.

I still think it’s him
when I go to answer the phone,
when I drive in the car
and I don’t feel like I’m alone.

I wake up in the morning,
lay my head down at night
and think there’ll never be a point
when things go back to feeling just right.

~From the Blog, Just My Current Perspective

COPYRIGHT 2011, With Sympathy Gifts and Keepsakes, LLC.

We are participating in the New York NBTS event this year.

Our team page is here. If you want to donate to me, you can scroll down and click on my name to donate to me or just donate to the team.  We each have a personal goal and a team goal.  Last  year I exceeded my personal goal thanks to everyone here and on FB and my friends and readers all over the world.  Thank you all so much for helping!!!

All donations are tax-deductible and all go directly to the NBTS

The 2013 “Get M.A.D. at Brain Cancer Fund Raising Event

May is Brain Tumor Awareness Month and Michael’s birth month.

I knew NOTHING about brain tumors and how deadly they are and how difficult to treat and how underfunded research is…and I learned the hard way. We will be launching our 2013 fundraiser soon and if you can’t donate, you can buy a tee shirt or a magnet or a sticker. Anything to help.

After Michael died, I established the Michael A. DiCarlo Brain Tumor Foundation in his name. The funds in the Foundation have almost doubled.

But we do the National Brain Tumor Society fundraiser every year and we hope that you will help us raise funds for the cause. I will be posting the team page, my page and some links for tee shirts and magnets etc.

It's that time of year again

It’s that time of year again



Michael and I had an elaborate retirement plan that involved renewing our vows, going to Europe and returning home to buy new Harleys, chrome those babies up and travel the US. I’m in my 3rd year since we should have done that. But we talked about it all the time and this song by Emmy Lou Harris (whom I love) reminds me of that.

I read this morning and it was very good and I thank the author for this post. Very powerful.

Easter Day 2013

Michael and I had a wonderful relationship and I took such good care of him in his last year of life that I surprised even me. Florence Nightingale I am not. I have a weak stomach and most of the things required of me were not good for a person with a weak stomach. I also broke my foot and my hand while he was ill and it wasn’t easy to care for him many days but he received the best care possible. He was always comfortable, dry, well-fed and cared for. He was not the type to complain even if he wasn’t but I made sure he had the very best of everything. I watched over him like a mother hen or a mama bear. I argued on his behalf and advocated for his care and was there every single second for him as I am sure he would have done for me. I could count our serious arguments on one hand over all those years and I only actually remember two or three that were really really serious. Other than that he made me happy and I made him happy and I had no regrets except this one Easter I’m going to talk about.
Read the rest of this entry »

It may not seem like it, but this is the short version of “Til Death Do Us Part” written in 2011 and re-posted in support of gay marriage.

My husband had a brain tumor.

He had a seizure on September 16, 2008. On that day, my life changed completely. I knew that something had been wrong, but I didn’t know what. He had 3 anaplastic astrocytomas, they were inoperable and he had a life expectancy of 3-6 months.

There is never a time when I recall that conversation that I don’t break down in tears. That was the day my life changed. People in my mother’s generation divided their time into before WWII and before JFK’s assassination. For the past 10 years, people divide their lives into before Sept 11 and after Sept 11. I divide my life between before Michael got sick and after. Even on the anniversary of 9/11, when people were talking about where they were and what was said, I thought of Michael waking me up (we lived in California) to tell me about the first plane.

When Michael took ill, I could not fathom being without him. When I met him and throughout our marriage I was strong, independent, and secure. But knowing he was there, letting me be me and him being him, was just one of the greatest gifts of my life. All my life, I had been alone and never felt truly loved or cared for until met Michael DiCarlo. He was the only person in my entire life, including my parents, who ever took care of me in that way. He gave me gentle, tender, loving devotion. He simply adored me and had a calming effect on me like no one I ever knew. It wasn’t just that he was a calming presence, I had done enough work in my life that I had learned calmness and wasn’t completely off the wall anymore, but he could, with few words, just say, “It will be okay.” and I would believe him.

In all of years of marriage he never made me cry…but now the news of his survival chances rendered me hysterical. I couldn’t stop crying. I sobbed openly and without control. How could you take this person from me?? HOW? He was the only one who ever truly cared about me. EVER. He was the only person in my entire life who was consistently there for me. He was my rock, my support, my wonderful wonderful partner through thick and thin, through good times and bad…

I didn’t meet him until I was in my 30s. How could he leave so soon? HOW?
Read the rest of this entry »

This beautiful song by Jon Regan was written during his dad’s fight with cancer (which he beat). I know there are a lot of readers here who have loved ones who are battling and I hope they win. I meet people every year at our Walks whose loved ones are winning. Even though Brain Cancer is a killer there are people at every single event who have beaten it. There are people who beat cancer when the odds are they would not. I feel a pang of jealousy and then I cheer for them. I do not want anyone to know the heartache we have known.

My winter has been quiet. I broke my hand in October and have been trying to write a book with a broken arm. The holidays were quiet.

When I heard this song, I cried. Played it again, and then cried again.

It’s a wonderful song by a genius artist and if you have been affected by this horrible disease, it will touch you.  I am truly truly grateful his father made it to the other side of this horrible disease.

Music has given me a connection to my grief over the past few years and yet there are only a few that really speak to me and this was one. Thank you Jon and thank you Jeff Kazee (brilliant musician himself) for sharing it on Twitter.

This blog has been here since I received those words.  Inoperable. Brain cancer.  About Michael.  Losing the person that I loved most in this world.  Who was the only person ever there for me from beginning to end. Who had an intuition about things when they were going wrong in my life and how to fix it.  Even if just by being thr

My story is different but my thoughts are with Valerie and her family, wishing them peace of mind and peace of heart.

And thank you for the joy and laugher your acting brought me over the years.

There are few words to say…but thank you for all you have given


please know that so many out here are thinking of you and sending loving thoughts your way so you may find the peace and strength to get through this.  We are all pulling for you.