While I Was Away, A Nice Surprise

I have been away for about 10 days on a beautiful vacation to Portugal. I will write more about it when I’m not so tired, I wanted to share a nice surprise I learned about while I was gone.

An excerpt from my memoir about my brain tumor and my dad’s stroke was published while I was gone. This essay focuses on how my large family connects around food. After his stroke my dad was no longer able to eat solid food, rather only received nutrition through a feeding tube.
 My dad cooking before his stroke.
Though he was technically being fed, he never lost the hunger for food. And I don’t believe he understood why we weren’t allowing him to eat.

You can read the whole piece, Familial Food, at Hektoen International.

I hope you enjoy!


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  1. Justin Florey

    You’re food descriptions were incredibly evocative. I could smell them as if I were there, yet like your father, I was unable to taste. Touching story about loss and all we take for granted.

    • Catherine Lanser

      Thanks, Justin. I read your entry on Nowhere and it help me see an area of the country I’m familiar with in a new way. I like how it’s a different kind of travel story. I am never sure exactly what s travel story is supposed to be.

  2. Jennifer Lilley Collins

    Catherine, I read the excerpt and the full article. So touching. Although my own father had different health issues, I could easily relate as I watched my own father lose his mobility, his appetite, and even his eyesight worsened so much that he could no longer read, which was something he loved. Your words are real and touch upon the emotions of dealing with an ailing parent, family member, or friend. As a cancer patient, I can now better empathize with what my father went through during that time. Thank you for sharing.

    • Catherine Lanser

      Thank you for reading. It took me a long time to understand what my dad was going through. I try and be more empathetic even if what someone is experiencing isn’t something that is hard to understand.

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