The short version? I got cancer.
The long version?
I was working diligently with an editor at a large publishing house. It was terrific and we had a number of discussions about direction, development and story.
It was a marvelous distraction over the summer while I was waiting to find out what the large lump in my breast was about–none of the easy tests said it was anything, but it was THERE. Ever present and threatening.
I refused to believe it would be anything bad. I did all the tests and then was told to wait two months. All the while I was doing the wife and mother duties I love as well as working on a middle grade fiction piece.
Then came my diagnosis.
Instead of living the life of a fictional young girl who was dealing with her own trauma, I stepped aside from her to deal with my own very real trauma.
To save my life I couldn’t go into the place where she was and live in negativity, fear and doubt. So I put her aside. And I felt badly for doing it.
I spent the next 3 years dealing with breast cancer, nearly a dozen surgeries, biopsies, CT scans, PT scans, blood work, chemotherapy, IVs, antibiotics, other drugs, complications from surgery and infection, pneumonia, valley fever, and lung surgery.
Those three years were hard…actually hideous at times.
My ever changing body and health and mind were a challenge. After my final surgery, I just concentrated on my kids.
I had started a blog…this blog if you look back begins in 2009, and I kept writing it. I did some philanthropic fundraising, events and advising, but I couldn’t get back to writing fiction. Until now.
I am writing a memoir and have handed it off to an editor for a going over. I published a self help guide to chemo while parenting and its companions: a gratitude journal and an organizer.
Our daughters have grown into incredible young women and parenting is the best thing I ever did with my time. They are now both ending freshman year–one in high school and one in college, a far cry from the 7 and 11 year old girls I had when I was diagnosed.
Now it is time to write again.
I have been chomping at the bit. I began to coach again and vigorously applied my own advice and favorite tools to my own writing again. So I am spending time again with my mystery for middle grade readers and I have about a month to get moving on it before my editor hands me back the memoir.
I sat down with my story last night and realized it had been coming along quite nicely when I put it aside. I have to go over copious notes and check the structure, but I am excited to be back to work with the fictional kids I loved hanging with so long ago.
It is never to late to begin. Join me.
I’m so glad to hear that you’re getting back to what you love, Angelique. I imagine it’s kind of like rediscovering an old friend. I’d love to read your memoir when it’s finished, and I’m also pretty excited about your middle grades fiction too!
Rediscovering a whole slew of old friends actually—all my characters waking after a long sleep!
A, just reading your blog and I had no idea you’d gone through that 3 years of such hardship! Good Lord, that sounds terrible!
I’ve watched my mother and sister conquer breast cancer, but they had nothing of the trouble you had. I’ll probably see something along the way in your other blogs about you doing well, especially since your doing your writing class. Godspeed to you in the future.
I am doing great —-Thank you! It was crap but it is now in the past most of the time!