Archive for the ‘hospital’ Tag


This little 100 page book was Intended as a memorial to a good man who died too young two months after his diagnosis of glioblastoma multiforme. But this collection of his Facebook entries during that period has become so much more as his struggles and the person he created reach out from the pages along with testimonies and revelations from family and friends about his own gender trials and acceptance.

Today I’m addressing folks like those who teach courses in death and dying, gender issues, personality, social, and developmental psychology, social work, or who work with the terminally ill in settings such as chaplains, Hospice, nursing homes, or hospitals.

The title, IT SUCKS, comes from the last words on Nick’s Facebook page.

At this point I would appreciate reviews, especially those I might quote on the back of the book or in its initial presentation. Given the COVID-19 restraints there will probably not be the book launch I had hoped for at one of his favorite places in Shakopee, Minnesota: Wampach’s restaurant, Turtles Bar and Grill, Pullman’s Club or Babe’s. I’ll just have to find more creative ways, beginning with responses from you or folks to whom you forward this request.

If you are interested in receiving a galley copy for review, please e-mail me a request along with a quick note about your occupation and how you might use the book. Please put “request a galley copy” in the subject line to

And, of course, you are welcome to make a comment right here.


Some outtakes really hurt, like this one about my mother’s youngest sister, Agnes

“Is Jennie up to talking?” she asked. “Or should I tell you.”

“She’ll be OK,” he said, hearing the urgency in Esther’s voice.

Jennie got herself slowly to the phone and stiffened as soon as the conversation began. “Oh no, poor Agnes.”

Carl moved close to Jennie even as he observed strength and determination flowing into her body.

“It’s cancer,” Jennie told Carl. “Agnes is at Yale/New Haven hospital. They don’t have any hope. Poor Agnes. Poor Esther, alone again.”

Carl watched Jennie revive. She knows Esther needs her.

“I visited Aunt Agnes in the hospital today,” Mona reported some days later. “I’m so glad I did. She seemed really happy to see me, and really lonely for company.”

“How did she look?” Jennie asked.

“Not as bad as I expected, but it is so sad. She kept saying ‘It’s not fair. I’m the youngest; I shouldn’t be the first to go.’ And you know how she always sort of grasped me as if she wanted me to leave a piece of myself with her…? Well, that’s what she did when I had to leave.”

Late in October, Jennie and Carl asked Mona to come to Forestville so they could take her out to lunch at Johnny’s Restaurant for her birthday. On the way Mona stopped at the Forestville Nursing Center to visit Agnes who’d been there since leaving the hospital.

“I was really angry,” Mona reported. “When I arrived, I told the nurse I was there to see Agnes Galloway. She took me to her room and yelled at Aunt Agnes to wake up because she had a guest. Poor Aunt Agnes. I know she’s been in such pain. Why couldn’t she just let her sleep – or let me go in quietly to be with her. Anyway, I got the impression Aunt Agnes was happy – maybe even eager – to see me, and started talking right away, as if there was something she wanted me to know. But her words were so soft and slurred I couldn’t understand them. I didn’t let her know that, though. I kissed her like I thought what she said was very special – I’m sure it was. And then she went back to sleep.”




Posted February 8, 2020 by Mona Gustafson Affinito in Uncategorized

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