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Finally! Marv Taking Charge: A Story of Bold Love and Courage is scheduled for release on April 18, 2023.

The book is available for pre-order at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

If you would like to buy directly from me, please email me at caringlessons@gmail.com. All my proceeds, except for S/H, will be donated to Marv’s hospice, Avera@Home – Hospice Sioux Falls.


Marv Taking Charge: A Story of Bold Love and Courage, a notable memoir, of Lois and Marv Roelofs as they travel the difficult “adventure” (as termed by Lois) from the diagnosis of a very aggressive form of lung cancer to Marv’s death. Marv was midwifed from this life into life after – paraclete, the coming along side of – by Lois, family, friends (far and near), and the home hospice team. Marv, Lois and immediate family were sustained by their faith in God, developed over the many years of these relationships. Lois concludes with spiritual insights and wisdom of her life with and without Marv. This memoir serves as a guide for others to navigate the adventure from life into life after on their own terms – a valuable companion.

—Terrill L Stumpf, RN, PhD, MDiv, Former Director of the Center for Whole Health, Fourth Presbyterian Church, Chicago

            Lois Roelofs has the heart of a healer, the soul of an artist, the voice of a balladeer. Her memoir is utterly rapturous–a long, sad, rejoicing, engrossing love story and a gift to all of us.

—Sandra Scofield, The Last Draft; Swim: Stories of the Sixties

            Lois Roelofs’ husband wanted to die at home. This is a remarkable and inspirational story of a wife and family’s commitment to honor Marv’s wish. With the compassionate support of hospice staff, Lois and her family summoned the inner strength and grace to care for Marv at home until the end of his life. Hospice was the “lifeline” that provided ongoing comfort and reassurance for Marv and especially for Lois as wife/nurse/caregiver.

—Jane Van De Velde, DNP, RN, retired hospice nurse

            As a counselor, I think Lois Roelofs is one of the best writers who delves deep into her personal experience to offer support and encouragement to readers going through difficult transitions and grieving.

—Ann T. Brody, MSW

            The story Lois Roelofs tells in this memoir of her husband’s death is universal; after all, everyone’s life ends. Still, no two stories are alike, and Roelofs’ particulars are very much her own and their own. That she is a nurse means she follows his suffering thoughtfully, in ways few others can. Then again, their 55 years of marriage means her heart, her love, is also ever engaged. But the strengths of their souls, their mutual faith, provides the power that sees them both through. Her vigil will wear you out, but its exactness of her conviction will strengthen you for all of our journeys.

—James Calvin Schaap, Emeritus Professor of English, Dordt University

            A marriage well lived and a parting lovingly recorded in real time—that is the story of Lois and Marv’s long and eventful life together. Retrospective memoirs often gloss over the hard parts, but Lois shares the struggles of honoring her husband’s wishes to bypass futile treatment and watching the man she loves succumb to terminal cancer. This is a book that honors life even in the face of death.

—Carol J. Rottman, Ph.D. teacher and author of A Memoir of Parting, (Principia Media, 2016)

            A heart wrenching story with lessons for family and professional caregivers on how to navigate the rocky road of terminal cancer. The words, “talk to my wife she’s a nurse resonated with me,” as does the rest of the book, since I lived the same experience, a nurse, yet a family member caring for my husband who had an untreatable cancer. Like Lois and Marv, my late husband and I counted on the support of friends and family and our hospice providers to help us get through the rough times. An important lesson both for families and healthcare providers is the importance of signing on to hospice early to benefit from all the help they provide.

—Karen Van Dyke Lamb, RN, DNP, Gerontological Clinical Nurse Specialist 

About the book: Lois Roelofs always knew that Marv, her husband of fifty-five years, had strong convictions. So when he was diagnosed with “very aggressive” small cell lung cancer, with a few weeks to a few months to live, she accepted that he wanted to die on his own terms―refuse chemo, choose quality of life over quantity, and die at home. She tells their story in a mix of personal notes, family and friend emails, and public blog posts written during Marv’s illness and her first months as a widow. At the time, she could find no personal accounts of refusing treatment and living with the resultant uncertainty.

I started writing those “personal notes” when Marv was diagnosed in January of 2018, long before I knew I would write a book someday about our experience. Now, over five years later and after years of writing, working with editors, and finalizing details with the publisher (Deep River), I feel as though I’ll be having a graduation of sorts. No cap and gown, but gratifying to say I’ve accomplished what Marv eventually wanted me to do–to write our story because he felt strongly that it may help others some day. Marv would be happy!