It’s with a very sad heart that I’mshane_jerrle_2013 forced to tell you that my wife of 40 years, Jerrle M. Gericke, is leaving the hospital and coming home for cancer hospice. Since October, she has battled metastatic breast cancer like a warrior princess, with tumors invading her lungs, liver, spine, and abdomen. The oncologists fought fiercely to save her with chemo and radiation and surgery and tube feedings and extraordinary measures when cancer started eating her kidney ureters–and we got an extra nine months because of it. (Fourteen extra years, actually, if you count from the day she beat the original breast cancer, which turned metastatic only last October.) But Nature finally won–the cancer invaded her vagus nerve, which controls her gastro-intestinal system, and shut it down like Thor’s hammer. The nerve damage is irreversible, meaning she no longer can absorb any nutrition, not one single calorie. So she chose to discontinue medical treatment–which would no longer work anyway–and spend the rest of her life, however many weeks that might be, at home with me. As exhausted and filled with painkillers as she is, she’s still got the grit that I loved the first time I met her in our college newsroom–she vows that she will be at my Sept. 4 launch of THE FURY if she has to have an ambulance crew wheel her in. (No doubt for the sheer delight of having six hunky Naperville firefighters by her side.) That’s the girl I married and that’s the woman I grew older with–but, tragically, not “old,” as we’d intended. I will be active here and on other media because I’m committed to getting all four of my books into your hands–Jerrle insists I continue my work, and She Who Must Be Obeyed will be obeyed!–as well as being with her. But if you contact me, I might not respond right away, because, Her. Thanks for understanding, and for those who already knew, thanks for your graciousness, help, and love in this most difficult of times.

 

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