I am Leah and I have Bipolar Disorder. To make life even more interesting, my husband, Dan, has Stage IV Cancer. He was diagnosed at 37 and has  been in ongoing treatment for 4.5 years! We also have a healthy and rambunctious 7 year old. So follow along as we try to manage our life together and strive for love, gratitude, and joy.

This is a very special video made by my bestie & photographer Amy Mulder, using video and photography taken while Ross and Amy visited with us in Carlton 10/21/14.

It is best viewed in full screen so that you get all of the awesomeness of our faces coming at you! Dan especially noted after viewing it---"My head is huge!"

Any joking aside...Honestly, this was something she made just for us and I didn't intend to share it. Don't get me wrong--I LOVE it. I have watched it approximately 13 times since she sent me the link. While her and her hubby, Ross, were here, they did video interviews with Dan and I, each separately, as well as some questions together and a photo shoot in downtown Carlton. It was very special and her video makes my heart full.

However she chose the song "C'est La Mort" by The Civil Wars*** and while it is such a beautiful song, it felt too beautifully sad. I didn't want to share a video that would make anyone sad.

And then I realized, our situation is sad. Typically it would be a poetic love song, but given our circumstances, it is sad. It just is.

***C'est La Mort

Swan dive down eleven stories high Hold your breath until you see the light You can sink to the bottom of the sea Just don't go without me

Go get lost where no one can be found Drink so long and deep until you drown Say your goodbyes, but darlin' if you please, Don't go without me.

C'est la vie, c'est la mort. (It is life, it is death.) You and me, Forevermore.

Let's walk down the road that has no end. Steal away where only angels tread. Heaven or hell or somewhere in between Cross your heart to take me when you leave. Don't go... Please don't go. Don't go without me.


These circumstances that I speak of...They keep escaping me and rushing back at moments I am still unprepared for.

I am allowed rest. I sleep in deep slumber with either no dreams or vague dreams. I wake, a mouth guard of plastic ground into iceberg-like shifts of shape. The awakening is numbing. Suddenly I remember it all again--and it is too much for my mind to contain. I get caught in a bind of bitter reality that is unbearable. Where were we when the world stopped? When did the doctors tell us this? How did my perfectly healthy husband become so mortal? Why him?


Why. Him.


It is an awful phrase. I try not to think it; the phrase is hollow and useless.

My husband is not hollow and useless. He is alive and warm and breathing and making me laugh. He is still touching me and bringing me alive. He is comforting me and worrying about everyone who worries about him.

Who am I to be bitter? There are loved ones who disappear into fogs and forests, dementia, a sudden accident---and they never return. Again, who am I to be bitter? I see grace falling on our shoulders every day. Kindness of strangers and loved ones alike is filling up our bank account and mailbox. Gestures are written and spoken but I cringe at times. I don't want them. I would give them all back if I could...

I can't begin to contain myself. I have to let bitterness breathe. I keep saying, "It's all a part of the process." The Process. The Process of grieving. I am grieving gray hairs we won't share. I am grieving a future I was never guaranteed. We are never guaranteed, but we feel as though we are.

C'est la vie. C'est la mort.

So if I am to be authentic and continue to write about this experience to cope, to manage Depression, to ease anxiety-- I have to share these words and I have to share this video.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. I really, really love my husband. And the video captures that.





Two Weeks In Photos 10/28 - 11/11

Chemo Round 1