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Rock Hill Widower’s Experience As A Cancer Caregiver Inspires Memoir

Melanie and Patrick Long in 2000, celebrating Mardi Gras in Soulard.
Courtesy of Patrick Long
Melanie and Patrick Long in 2000, celebrating Mardi Gras in Soulard.

When Rock Hill resident Melanie Long suffered a terrifying cancer-induced stroke at the age of 45, her husband, Patrick P. Long, almost immediately realized that things would never be the same. As he writes in his new memoir, “It felt different this time.”

“Everything had suddenly changed,” he writes. “I felt like her remaining timeline had been instantly erased.”

In “Ordinarily Extraordinary: Love and Anger, Life and Death, Hope and Inspiration,” Long reflects on how despite a devastating loss, he developed the belief that nothing in life is insurmountable.

“This is a book about life, relationships, personal turmoil, trauma, overcoming things,” Long said on Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air. “When I initially say what the book’s about, it can sound very sad and tragic, and there is that aspect to it, [but] I also consider it a very uplifting book. And that’s really my outlook — to live in Melanie’s spirit of just having fun, making friends, appreciating the people around you, and just living your best life.”

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill, and Lara Hamdan. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr.

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Emily is the senior producer for "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.