Those of you who visit my site now and again might notice that I had basically turned off the blog section of the site last year because it felt like it was becoming just another place I "had to" post book news and it was a drag. lol. Seriously, I don't think anybody bothered to read it because by the time they got to my website, they probably had been hit over the head with the news about new books so many times, they no longer cared! ;-)
I decided to turn this blog back "on" now because I've had a life-altering experience with one of my worst fears - cancer. If you follow me on facebook at all, you might've noticed some of the recent posts about my diagnosis and - THANK YOU, GOD - cure. As a result of the surgery I just had (about a week ago now) and the fantastic results I learned about only the day before yesterday when the pathology report came back in my favor, I've made some major changes in my life.
Since I'm a writer, I'd like to memorialize some of my journey and I think this blog might be the place to do it - even if I'm the only person who ever reads it. LOL.
Writing is an unhealthy lifestyle. At least it has been for me and for many of my author friends. It seems every other day I see someone I've met at a conference or know from shared publishers telling people about traumatic events in their health. Two authors I know have had strokes in the past couple of years. These are relatively young women. Late 40's, maybe early 50's. Far too young to be having strokes, right? Apparently not.
Then there are folks like me who end up with illnesses brought on by the sedentary lifestyle that creeps up on people in my profession. Kallypso Masters went through something very similar to what just happened to me in 2014 and she was amazingly supportive of me during my time of distress, even though we'd only met a few times at conferences. This is my public acknowledgment of her kindness and generosity of spirit. She sent me many private messages through facebook, providing moral support and ideas of places to go to get information and hook up with others going through what I was experiencing. She was amazing and I can't thank her enough for being so willing to talk about her experiences with me. <3
What I had was endometrial cancer. What the doctors did was give me a total hysterectomy - uterus, tubes, ovaries - and they tested three "sentinel" lymph nodes to see if the cancer had spread. My worst fear was that it had spread and I'd have to do chemo and/or radiation treatments. I've been through that with my mother. She died the day before Christmas in 2009 and I was with her every step of the way, at every treatment, in every facility. It broke my heart and I feared I was going to wind up the way she had.
I visited a lawyer and started putting my affairs in order. I drafted a will. I got a power of attorney, healthcare proxy and living will set up before I went to the hospital for surgery. I even talked to my family about what to do with Dad, who is a vibrant 91-year-old World War II vet that I have the privilege to live with and care for. I was hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst. Having those plans in place gave me a bit of peace of mind.
I found out only a day ago that the cancer was contained to a single polyp in the uterus and had not spread. I do not require further treatment, and am considered "cured." I wept with relief and thanked God and all those who prayed for me. Things are looking up!
But I still have to make major changes in my life. For too long I've wallowed in the grief over my mother's death. For too long I've tread water, not really advancing or doing anything...more...with my life. And for too long, I've gambled with my health. Eating poorly, not exercising. Sitting all day, staring at a screen. Not good.
I'm still healing from the surgery at this point, but I've already made dietary changes and am making plans for the future, when I'm cleared to resume normal activities. I hope to chronicle some of that here. I'll be sharing recipes, information I research on why I'm making the choices I decide to make, etc. If you're interested, I'd love to have your comments. If not, I'll just use this as an archive for my own informational purposes, but I think it's important to write this stuff down somewhere. I hope any readers who stumble across this find some use in it as well.
It's time to dust off my old biochemistry degree and use some of the smarts I used to have! It might also be time to learn new things and explore new ideas. With my new lease on life, I'm eager to see what I might learn!