“Catherine Graves is one of the strongest women I know. Her experience and the multitudes of emotion she faced before and during her husband’s illness – and how she dealt with the grief after his death is not only courageous – but a triumph. She is a shining example of perseverance through even the worst of pain.”

-Catherine Anaya

Local T.V. News Anchor


“Checking Out is the story of a woman who descends to the depths of disease, disappointment, death and depression, who emerges damaged but not destroyed, and who ascends to a place where she can see her tragedy has given her strength she could never have won and taught her higher love she would never have known. I can only hope that when I die, there will be a woman who loved me enough to pay me a similar tribute as that which Catherine wrote for John.”

– Jon Du Pre

T.V. News Anchor


“I read Catherine’s book twice…in 48 hours. Powerful and moving.”

– Kent Dana

T.V. News Anchor

Powerful. Moving. Inspiring. Those are just a few of the words that come to mind after reading “Checking Out.” As a journalist, I’ve heard and told thousands of stories of tragedy and redemption. Catherine’s journey stands out. Not because of the unbelievable circumstances that shook her to her foundations, but because her honesty and heart will stay with you long after you’ve finished the final page.”

– Sarah Buduson


“Hey, Catherine! Before your appearance on my TV show, I planned, as always, to scan your book.  I found myself, late into the night, reading the whole damn thing.  You grabbed me and I didn’t even give you permission!  Checking Out: An In-Depth Look At Losing Your Mind has to be a movie…no exploding cars – just exploding lives.  My choice for you is Sandra Bullock.  You move me, lady.”

Pat McMahon– AZTV Television Host / KTAR Radio Host

“Catherine approached John’s illness head-on, with a combination of realism, honesty and courage that I really hadn’t quite encountered before.  It was refreshing and inspiring to me at the time, and I think of it often.  She brings these same qualities to her writing, and I am once again struck by her clear-eyed approach.  Checking Out has a ring of truth that I think many people in similar circumstances will find they can relate to and are very much in need of.”

– Cameron McDougall, M.D.

Barrows Neurological Institute

“Catherine, I finished reading your book and enjoyed it.  It is too often that as physicians we lose sight of the ripple effects a patient’s illness has on family and friends.  Your brutally honest personal saga is riveting and heartbreaking.”

– Robert Spetzler, M.D.

Barrows Neurological Institute

“Catherine Graves’ account of what must have been the most discombobulating time of her life is remarkable for its honesty, self-deprecation, palpable sense of tragedy, and, ultimately, remarkable ability to see the deep sorrow and temporary loss of her sense of self with a surprising, but far from inappropriate sense of humor. She deserves some sort of medal. Most of the people who read Checking Out (myself included) will never get the chance to meet Ms. Graves, but I’m betting there are a lot of us who would like to.”

– Posted on Amazon.com

“Fantastic book from a courageous author. The honest and open style of the author will pull you in, make you laugh, and make you cry. Ms. Graves shares her deepest thoughts and her ups and downs as she faces doubt, sadness, grieving, mistakes, joy, and peace. I was especially moved by the direct and honest comments from her children that were added throughout the book. She is a strong woman and wonderful mother.”

– Posted on Amazon.com

“Catherine has very bravely ‘bared her soul’ in her honest and humorous account. This book should be required reading for all professionals in the health field who are involved in the treatment of patients with brain tumors, as it will help them understand the impact of this disease on the patient’s family members. She has carefully detailed the toll her husband’s illness and subsequent death took on her own and her children’s lives. It is both her honesty and her ability to laugh at herself and her circumstances that makes this an easy, enjoyable read. Catherine’s account of her own survival when she felt her life was spinning out of control will give hope to others in the face of crises that may appear insurmountable. Kudos to you for putting your story out there for others!”

– Posted on Amazon.com

“Be prepared to fall in love with Catherine Graves and her family. She showed complete devotion to her dying husband with grace and dignity, but had to learn how to pick up the pieces afterwards to make her family whole again. Readers will love this heart-wrenching, yet tender story about Catherine and her journey to survive.”

– Posted on Amazon.com

“Catherine Graves went through some of the worst imaginable life challenges and has emerged from it all with the ability to teach and inspire readers. This book applies to those looking for guidance, or people who can appreciate the need to drive on and recreate when everything falls apart.”

– Posted on Amazon.com

“I lost my wife to a GBM brain tumor about a year and a half ago. She was my life and my best friend. I can feel the pain in Catherine’s writing. I can see why this was the worse of times for her. It is hard to convey how seeing the person you love die from brain cancer, but she does. This is a story of how one day your world is great, and the next day it seems like it’s the end of your life, as you knew it.  But in the end you learn from your loss, and you realize that you have a new world in front of you that can still be wonderful in different ways. The one you lost will always be part of your life. This story is the real deal!”

– Posted on Amazon.com

“What an amazing read! Catherine and her children give an intimate look at their final days with a man that meant the world to them. Not just about living w/ someone dying in front of you, but also about how to move on. Something, unfortunately, we’ll all have to confront at some point in our lives. Thank you Catherine, Alex, and Caroline!”

– Posted on Amazon.com

“UPS brought Catherine Graves’ book to me today with the title of Checking Out. I highly recommend it. It has more than several places in the book where the ink didn’t print clearly, leaving it blurry so I could hardly read it. And then I figured out there was nothing wrong with the printing, that it was my eyes that were blurry from the tears in them. Once I wiped the tears away the print was clear again. So, yes, it does have its tearjerker passages, making a person cry right along with Catherine and her dying husband, John. She does well at making the book a smooth-flowing story of her heartaches and how she finally returns to the living, crawling out of her self pity. It is a wonder that Catherine made it; it was touch and go for a while, but finally she saw the light that her children and friends did love and need her. I give it five stars, Catherine, well written for a budding author. Kudos.”

– Posted on Amazon.com

“We recently lost my husband to brain cancer in January.  I’m looking forward to reading your book – I know I will be able to relate to your experience – it has been a very difficult journey.  Thank you for sharing your story.”

– J.M.

“You are a very good writer. It is a wonderful tribute to your husband and the love that you shared. You are an inspiration to others. It gives me hope I will be in a better place again myself one day. The first year has been pure hell. It’s almost 18 months since I lost DeDe. Things seem to get better over time, but very slowly and not in a straight line.”

– R.M.

“I came across your website and read all your blogs. My mother was diagnosed with GBM in October and we have done the surgery, radiation, and chemo.  I have taken a year off from teaching to care for my mother while my dad works.  As you know this has been a roller coaster of health scares and emotions.  My mother was just released from UT Southwestern, where she spent 10 days in rehab. It seems we continue to have more bad days than good ones.  The sad and ironic part of this whole disease is that we currently know 3 people that were diagnosed with the same tumor.   I just really like reading other peoples stories it doesn’t make me feel so alone.”

– K.A.