Saturday, January 11, 2014

CaringBridge Author

Towards the later part of 2013, my husband was diagnosed with Myelodysplasia or MDS. We were told that MDS is a disorder in which the bone marrow fails to make the correct amount of good, healthy blood cells. The disease therefore can affect the red cells, white cells, and platelets.

To reach a diagnosis, MRI's, Cat Scans, and CBC's were ordered. When the symptoms turned into a syndrome, bone marrow tests were ordered. Prior to all that, I had no idea what MDS, or CBC's were and was only vaguely aware that we humans had bone marrow and platelets.

Finally, a diagnosis was made - MDS. Not that we were happy with the diagnosis, but at least the demon was identified. We could move forward and treat it.

Naturally, and at first, this was shocking news. We needed time to absorb it all. Then, the more we learned, the quicker we were to take action. 

Not being a phone person, I couldn't imagine explaining the diagnosis, illness, prognosis and treatment to every relative and friend. How many phone calls would that entail, and how often? Imagine repeating it all over and over again to each new person, with constant updates, along with the time involved in doing so? And, not remembering who I told what to, or if I did? I was utterly exhausted just thinking about it, and I wasn't even the sick person.

Then I remembered. We knew someone that had a serious illness whose family had arranged a blog through a charitable nonprofit organization called CaringBridge. The blog kept us in the loop about how our friend was progressing. My husband read it whenever he was alerted of a new post and found comfort knowing that he was a part of our friends journey, even from afar. Upon more research, and with my husband's permission, CaringBridge became our answer on how to stay in touch with everyone during what was expected to be a bumpy time.

CaringBridge was started in 1997 and serves over 500,000 people daily. Its chief goal is to update family and friends on the status of loved ones suffering from an ongoing serious medical issue. In order to achieve this, the site is personalized by the author - myself, where journal entries and photographs are posted. I also easily arranged for my husband and another relative to add their own journal posting, whenever they felt inclined to do so. A CaringBridge site is private, unless determined otherwise, therefore, only invited guests can log on and post their well wishes, support and uplifting words. Although there are no fees involved in setting up a CaringBridge site, the organization does accept donations, or "Tributes."

As an author, I can attest that CaringBridge is both a comfort, as well as a valuable resource, not only for the main character, but also for all those that play a part in his life story.


  1. Dear Jeralyn - thank you for taking the time to explain about your husband's illness. We are praying that he will make a full recovery. And thanks for the information on CaringBridge. What a wonderful creation.

  2. Thank you Fay for your kind words and prayers. I could have started a regular blog, but CaringBridge is the "social network" for people with a serious illness. Therefore, it seemed the best way to go.

  3. Good to know that there is comfort in having a site such as CaringBridge. Thanks for the info.

  4. CaringBridge is really needed by my family at this time in our life. It seems the right moment to join your blog since my niece has been in 4th stage liver cancer for 2 yrs. There is no chance for a transplant, but Johnns Hopkins removed 70% of her liver that had tumors. Chemo has taken a horrible toll on her body and a second surgery on her colon. Right now we're in limbo, waiting for February report. Reading about Jeralyn's husband brought tears, since I know she has had to have cried often. Thank you Jeralyn for inviting me to your blog and life...

  5. Thank you too B., and I am so sorry to read about your niece. We had another family member that fought the battle for many years and it was devastating for her, as well as for all those close to her. I'll remember to say some prayers for your niece, yourself and family. This Cancer thing needs to be conquered.