Dear Diary,

It’s not cancer. IT’S NOT CANCER. 

I asked the ortho twice yesterday to be safe. Both times, he gave me an emphatic no. I’ll take that. As most of you know, my sister recently died of glioblastoma. Cancer—even the mention of it—scares the bajeezus out of me now.

What it actually IS, however, isn’t quite clear. Julie and I left the appointment with more questions than answers, but we did celebrate with wine and beer and some really good cheese curds.

The doc mentioned things like Swiss cheese bones and bone infarctions and osteonecrosis. But he gave me a cortisone shot and told me to go play pickleball! I mean, that’s GREAT news, but I’m still a little hesitant. Hesitant enough to get a second opinion. This is the guy who told me it was AMPUTATION OR DEATH! if he opened my knee up, so I want to be sure he’s got his story straight. In case you’re wondering, his bedside manner hasn’t improved at all. He was stifling yawns while I was asking questions. Sorry to bother you, doc, but I’d rather my knee didn’t shatter while I’m on the pickleball court. Suffice it to say, I’m going to find someone who will actually explain in great detail what’s happening inside my body. If that knee and the surrounding bones are dying, is it happening somewhere else? Is there some way to curb the decline? Should I be taking supplements? Limiting my wine intake? Drinking more milk? Praying to Buddha? (Thanks for all the great questions, Devvon. I added the Buddha question to our list.) Whatever I need to do, I’ll do it. Secretly, I hope it involves more ice cream, but I’ll wait to see what the professionals say. 

Today, however, I’m rejoicing in the news that I don’t have cancer. The sun is shining, I feel lighter than I have in months, and I’m ready to jump back into life with both feet. I was preparing, I think, for more months of seclusion and down time and quiet darkness, and now I’m ready to dance in the sunshine. (But carefully. I don’t want to eff my knee up again.)

I’ve been such a taker lately. I’ve needed help with my finances; I’ve needed help with my recovery; I’ve needed help with my emotional state. I’ve been living in a world of grief, and although that grief isn’t gone, I’m figuring out how to deal with it. I’ve been living in a broken down body, and I’m ready to figure that out, too.

It’s time for me to give back. To give period.

I’m making dinner for my neighbors today. My friend is having surgery, and it’s one less thing for them to worry about. I have a large collection of Tupperware containers here from friends who brought food while I was recovering, and I’m planning desserts to fill them as a huge thank you. It feels so good to be able to do something for someone else. Finally.

My sweet friend unexpectedly lost her 20-year-old son this week. It is unfathomable, this kind of loss. She is so very far away, and I can do so little to help her. I’ve been holding quiet space for her, sending her all my love, but it feels like nothing can ever be enough for that kind of loss. My heart is breaking in a million different places for her.

So in her honor, in her son’s honor, what can I do for you?

It can’t be financial. I’m sorry about that. If I had a dime to my name, I’d give it to you. But I’m still unemployed (almost at my 1-year anniversary. Ugh.), and I’m drowning in medical and student loan bills.

But what else do you need? Do you need an ear? (I’m a great listener.) A beta reader? A cheerleader? Do you need a pickleball lesson? Some advice about writing and editing? Do you need me to sing True Colors to you over the phone? Whatever it is, please ask. It’s so, so, so hard for me to ask for help, so I get it. But people want to help. I want to help.

And when I sell all my books and rebuild my coffers, you can ask for money then. I’ll give it to you. It’s just money, after all. I only need enough to survive, just like the rest of us. So, if I have more than I need, and you don’t have enough, it’s a pretty simple math equation for me.

But today, I’m just going to send you all so much love. I’m going to sit in the sun and write my next book. I’m going to query more agents. I’m going to call for some second opinions. I’m going to move forward with enthusiasm and grit and a great big smile on my face.

I’m going to sing Unwritten at the top of my lungs. Listen for it. I’m singing it to you, too.



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2 Responses

  1. I am so so happy for you!
    My 16 year old grandson is fighting bone cancer. Horrible.
    I love your writing. Don’t stop.

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