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When Patrick Long’s wife, Melanie, suffers a terrifying stroke at the age of 45, a medical battle ensues that threatens to devastate their already cancer-altered lives. As Patrick strives to maintain normal routines for their four young children, he struggles through confrontations with doctors while watching Melanie suffer mysterious episodes that continually impair her speech.


Throughout weeks of distressing setbacks, Patrick reflects on their lives, candidly revealing marital clashes, deep secrets, personal trauma, failures, and regrets – along with the recognition of Melanie’s indomitable spirit that bolsters him even when cancer’s worst consequence takes the fight from them.


Determined to set a positive tone for their family, Patrick rejects pity and finds inspiration in the extraordinary community surrounding them, yet is beset by ordeals revealing that living that tone won’t be easy. Despite hardships and torments, he vows to remain focused on not just surviving, but thriving.

Ordinarily Extraordinary is a captivating true story interspersed with humor and wondrous revelations of the human experience. This fascinatingly rare and unique perspective of a surviving husband and father is a beautifully uplifting story of love and anger, life and death, and hope and inspiration.

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International Best Seller on Amazon!


Book Reviews

I love this book!  I'm a fan of this book!  It's so powerfully moving and so well written.  You can't leaf through this book.  I just kept turning page after page.  You’re in the room with Patrick when things are happening.  You’re in his brain.  You’re in his heart.  If I were at a seminar, I would say I don’t want anyone to leave this room without this book.  This book is really worth reading.  You’re gonna love it, and it will impact you in a beautiful way.  Ordinarily Extraordinary is a book I think should be on everyone's required reading list.  Make sure you get this book!

Jack Canfield

Co-Author of the bestselling Chicken Soup for the Soul series

"A page turner of a true story, Patrick P. Long evokes raw emotion in the telling of his wife’s ordeal with cancer. To have been through this burdensome journey with her, and yet have the presence of mind to write so detail-oriented, clearly and articulately is a gifted writer. A love story and memoir combined, Ordinarily Extraordinary was raw, tender and vulnerable.

Long writes with a paint brush as he evokes emotion and metaphors that are rife with description. 

This is Long’s first book; however, I sincerely hope it won’t be his last."


Carol Fitzgerald

Health Care Advocate and Author of 6 books, her most recent: Living a Vibrant Life at Any Age:

Creating Love, Joy, and Connections in Everyday Moments.

"Patrick P. Long answers the call to life’s many questions, bringing his family’s personal story of tragedy and triumph alive in a way that gives voice to one’s innermost fears, insecurities, and doubts.  This book takes you on an enlightening journey of loving another through life’s bumps in the road, pulling back the curtain to the paradox of the perfection of imperfection. A must read that will truly tug at your heart and soul."

Dr. Cheryl Lentz
Keynote Speaker, Best Selling Author

"In working with cancer patients and their families for decades, I found Long’s story as real and compelling as it gets. Ordinarily Extraordinary takes you on a journey wading through the complexities and pain so many experience when faced with a cancer diagnosis. Each page captures the true essence of his wife and her keen ability to create extraordinary moments and connections continuously. As the story unfolds, it weaves into an unexpected journey of love, loss, anger, survivorship and personal growth. Long truly sets “The Tone” of how a family moves forward after such a loss. Incredibly inspiring, and I can’t wait to read it again!"

Stephanie Hadfield

Sr. Manager, Community Development of the American Cancer Society


"Raw. Real. Revealing.

Ordinarily Extraordinary is a compelling account of one man’s experience with the realities of love, advocacy, caregiving, and loss. Long’s story of his wife’s encounters with cancer, strokes, and communication challenges is captivating. We often hear and read these accounts from survivors, which are poignant. But this one exposes the heart and nerve of a dedicated husband struggling to keep it together as he witnesses his wife’s steady decline. What struck me most was his enduring devotion to his wife, whom he calls “ordinarily extraordinary.” With humor and humility, he lets us see how the ordinary can lead to extraordinary outcomes."

María Tomás-Keegan
Certified Career & Life Coach | Specialty: Transitions


"Do you want to see the extraordinary aspects in your seemingly ordinary life?  Look no further!  In Ordinarily Extraordinary, Patrick P. Long lovingly and candidly shares profound experiences as a husband, father, and best friend. When reading Ordinarily Extraordinary, we have the privilege to take a front row seat and learn from a gifted, transformational role model. This is a genuine love story about life, and even more importantly, about hope.  With this inspirational book by your side, you will have the opportunity, as well as the motivation, to become the best version of yourself, to become the person you truly want to be."


Wendy K. Benson, MBA, OTR/L and Elizabeth A. Myers, RN

Co-Authors, The Confident Patient

2x2 Health: Private Health Concierge,



"After years working with children who have a parent with cancer and now as a nurse, I’ve gotten small glances into the day-to-day struggles that come along with a cancer diagnosis. This novel puts you right in the hospital room as Patrick P. gives a raw and emotional account of one of the most difficult situations a family can face.

I couldn’t put it down - definitely a must read and a poignant tribute to an incredible wife, mother, and friend. Long’s story is captivating and full of depth, at times dark, funny, sad, yet ultimately uplifting and inspirational."


Mary Graeber

Camp Kesem Alum and RN

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