I started writing this blog on caringbridge.com when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2015. It quickly morphed into a project somewhat beyond the scope of health updates, so I shifted over here in September–although I don’t yet totally understand what the project is.

I’m hoping that writing my way through this new suspicious country will help me figure that out.

Nina Riggs

30 thoughts on “About

  1. Like the strange, scary & stunning suspicious country blog site

    This latest Nina post – with “therapy” dominating

    And of course the very familiar window & view


    1. I wept reading your article in Modern Love. Your bravery and honesty touched me deeply. I am sending love and strength to you and your family. My dear dear friend’s young husband is fighting this battle to live and our hearts ache. Your writing was inspiring and deeply touching. Love, strength, peace and blessings to you.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Nina, Go to http://www.meabco.com and look at BP-C1. It might help you. Contact me if you want more info. We had a Norwegian oncologist who prescribed BP-C1 for a patient of his who had prostate cancer. He started BP-C1 just before Christmas and will have completed his 32 injections next week. He says he feels better already…
    Best regards and good luck.


  3. Hi Nina
    I just read your Modern Love column in the New York Times. It’s a Friday afternoon in Manhattan. I’m at work and it is my 41st birthday. I have two kids myself, and I can’t even imagine what you are going through. I am sending you my very best and wishing you well.


  4. Hi Nina. It’s a sunny hot evening in New Orleans; I just read your Modern Love and looked you up here. Sending you strength and healing and hope. I have two boys and think “what the foxtrot” on a daily basis.


  5. Nina,

    Thank you for the beautiful piece you wrote in today’s NY Times. I was impressed enough that I looked up another piece you wrote in the Washington Post. Also beautiful. Your voice is powerful and honest and I am grateful to you for sharing it. I wish you only the best — and for your family, as well.


  6. Just read Modern Love. Amazing that you have the grace to share your story; blessed that you are engulfed in love. A wise woman told me in a time of personal doubt and medical crisis that there really were but two choices Love or Fear. That I had the power to chose Love as my prism, my North Star was an epiphany. When I would get lost; meditation helped center me again. My couch, I guess.


  7. Nina, I look forward to reading modern love every week. Sometimes it warms my heart, sometimes it disappoints, but today you have given something beautiful to the world. Thank you…


  8. Dear Nina, your beautiful, yet still witty post in the Modern Love column made me cry. How do you ever figure out the ultimate, letting go of your children? Thirteen years after my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer I still own the rug that she helped me pick and pay for, just weeks before her diagnosis. All I can tell you is this: do not buy a bonded leather couch. Our previous one peeled like sun burnt skin within two years. My thoughts are with you and your family.


  9. Nina – thank you as well for the beautiful piece you wrote for the New York Times. My dear friend Mary had the same diagnosis as you and left behind a son and husband two years ago. While her death ended her life, it did not end their relationship with her. They are learning to cook all the recipes she left for them, they still laugh remembering the jokes that she used to say, and they do their best each and every day in order to make her proud. My heart goes out to you and your family. I am sending prayers and hope for a miracle.


  10. Dear Nina, I just read your impeccable Modern Love piece in The NY Times and was so floored by your voice and your words that I came looking for you (as have apparently all the other souls commenting above). You have a lot of courage to continue writing and letting folks into this “strange country” and I so admire you for it. Your writing really is special. And I’m with you in believing for the best outcome for you and your beautiful family (and the best sofa). What an odd time to be finding new outlets for your writing, but I would love a book. Maybe that’s your plan for this blog. Either way, you’re a badass. And I applaud your strength and your honesty. Look forward to more writing from you. Sending a stranger’s prayers.


  11. Oh, Nina. What a beautiful writer and person you are. What a gift to your children, your husband and the world that you have taken such time and thought to share what is in your heart. Sending many thoughts of love and strength your way.


  12. Nina,
    I want to thank you for the beautiful article you wrote. I’m amazed by your strength. Obviously no one knows what’s next but your writing is something that will live on in anyone who has been lucky enough to read it.


  13. Dear Nina,
    Your essay in Modern Love is magnificent. It was called to my attention by my 25 year old daughter who was 9 when my breast cancer metastasized to my spine.She said it all sounded so familiar, it brought her right back to those scary first years.

    Well, I still have metastatic breast cancer. Last year we buried the dog we bought the day I was diagnosed in December 2000. He was my couch. Something to leave behind that would remind my kids I cared. But he really was my couch, too. I wanted to outlive him. And I did.

    Each and every cancer is different. But I think the more one lives with cancer, rather than at war with it, you both somehow learn to get along. It took me a while to figure that out. Sounds like you are way ahead on that curve.

    You are my hero. Thank you for your beautiful writing. If you ever want to talk, let me know.



  14. Hi Nina,

    Like so many other commentators, I just read your Modern Love piece in the NY Times. While love & laughter aren’t enough to keep our loved ones in our arms as long as we wish, the cocoon of our partner/lover/best friends’ arms let us know we’re never truly far away.

    I was so incredibly touched by your writing & although I have a very different situation, I can empathize a great deal. My warmest wishes to you, your husband & your boys.

    PS check out the Mitt Sofa by Coda Industries. I’ve had mine for 2.5 years & truly, it’s comfortable for sleep, lounging, anything. And trust me, I’ve spent an awful lot of time on it!


  15. I read Modern Love every week and although every essay is wonderful, yours was the first that made me cry. Thank you for sharing your story with such courage, vulnerability and honesty. Sending light and love to you and your family.


  16. Hi Nina
    Thank you for writing that amazing piece in Modern Love. You are a gifted writer and I am grateful to you for sharing your story with us. I too have cancer and lately I too have been obsessed with finding the “perfect couch!” I am thinking of you and praying that your oncologist finds a new treatment path. Take Care, Mary Ellen (cancerdame.com)


  17. I live in Montana.
    I, too, am a sofa shopper like you.
    More on that shortly.
    I divorced my lovely, special, troubled, troubled talented artistic soul mate best friend and wife of 13 plus years in April after discovery of final but repeated and patiently overlooked transgressions for 10 years while I was dealing with all her symptoms and behaviours of BPD, cutting, alcoholism, sucide attempts, depression, rage, etc., marriage bond breaking behavior in January.
    I could endure her self destruction, but when the gun was pointed at me and denied I had no choice deep inside. Like an amputation that I know deep down will make my life better, it brings me no joy in and of itself to have decided it, but my life is getting more fuller and less tense that every moment the anger and manipulation will start again.
    Which brings me to the sofa.
    Our home, which I now reside in with 3 very Montana dogs, is pretty much a curated mid century masterpiece. The last piece of the puzzle is the sofa.
    The sofa is the last domain of the dogs and the last safe space of our family. Where all 5 of us would reside in some combination.
    To pet one another, to watch Spongebob, heal, discuss Neutral Milk Hotel or Mark Rothko or to crack each other up or share our dinner with the dogs.
    I need a new sofa.
    Or so I thought.
    This one is grey. My home is bright. The sofa is a happy space of a lost time.
    I support you on your sofa decision.
    I will keep mine because you showed me how to buy the right sofa for the right reasons.
    And thanks to you, I realize I already did.
    Good luck on your sofa adventures. Check out Inmod and Joybird as well. It will be fun for you. It is for me every time I click.
    Clicking is good enough for now.
    What I have is good enough for now.
    You will choose well. Your vantage point is elevated by default.
    Gonna sit on my grey, blanket covered, hair covered sofa tonight and be grateful.
    For sofas, dogs, my life.
    And for you and your article.
    Thank you,
    Good luck.
    You matter.


  18. I, also, read your piece Modern Love and subsequently spent the greater part of yesterday devouring everything written by you that I could find on the internet. Your way with words is incredible, beautiful, and heartbreaking. Sending prayers and peace to you and your family from Mississippi.


  19. Dear Nina,
    Your Modern Love piece is beautifully written and very moving. You are a talented woman. Thank you for sharing your story and your courage. I’m sending love to you and your family.


  20. Lovely Nina,

    it’s early morning in Cologne, Germany. My husband and my son (8 months old) lay beside me, peacefully sleeping in our big bed, the rain is pooring down outside making clear autumn is here. I read your words over and over again, can’t stop crying, they just go straight into my heart and make me deeply sad. I identify with you and your thoughts around the things you write. Even your thoughts when it comes to buying the perfect couch.

    As a 33-year-old mother, I wish to have at least on more child and of course I hope for a beautiful family life. Reading your article, I’m being confronted with one of my biggest fears in life: having to say goodby – still being a young mother, just like you are – and having to accept that my son and my husband continue this journey without me.

    But reading your article, so full of courage, life wisdom, and way more love than fear, I feel silly and ashamed imagining myself in your situation – because I’m not. What I feel is deep respect. It would be a great gift to learn from you. My thoughts are with you and your family.

    (I’m sorry for my English being rudimental, English is not my native language)


  21. Dear Nina,

    As with so many others, I was drawn here by the magnetism of your Modern Love article, with gentle and beautiful detours via your Washington Post article and anything else I could find. After reading your writing, any words that I jot down feel inadequate, but I wanted to convey this, and I don’t really mind that it’s not poetic or brilliant in its expression, for it’ll get the job done: your writing is phenomenal. You have a way with words, with structure, with tone, that I’ve truly never seen. It’s incredible. It’s heart-breaking and yet it has levity. It’s profound but not arrogant. It’s beautiful but not naive (who knew there could be such beauty in two people lying together looking at the ceiling?). You, somehow, reach out and draw the reader in, no matter where they are in the world (me, right now, in the late night hours of Juba, South Sudan, where I work), or what their own life looks like. I’ve never read anything else that has all this; let alone in the brevity of an article.

    And so, as you travel this road, and find your couch, and process the deluge of emotions that will come with all that each day brings, I selfishly want something for me (yes, it is true audacity for someone who’s never met you to say that, given everything you’re going through): please write, and write more; at least on the days when you have the strength and will to do so. Because, while you’ve been scouring the internet for couches, many of us have been scouring it for voices that we want to read. And I choose yours.



  22. Dear Nina

    I read your latest article (Modern Love) in the New York Times today and it impacted me on many levels. I lost my brother to an aggressive form of colon cancer 5 years ago and reading your story about the struggles with the sofa (and what’s deeper than that) really touched me. His biggest concern as it got closer to the end was how much he would miss being a father to this young sons. Every time he mentioned it to me I would be brought to tears.

    Along with other posters, I would urge you to go with a genuine leather sofa. It will be more ‘nuzzly’.

    Much love to you and your family as your journey continues.



  23. Given that I get notes like this everyday from strangers, it feels odd to be leaving one. My name is Kate Bowler and I too have stage IV incurable cancer (which we both got in our 30s with little kids), live in North Carolina, and wrote a NYT piece about it. This and your obvious brilliance convinces me that we would be friends. Shoot me an e-mail if you ever want to get coffee. kbowler@div.duke.edu


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