Friday, August 31, 2018

A Handful of Hope

My wife finished what we thought was her final round of chemo. It looked like we made it to the end of the tunnel, only to find out the light was from an oncoming train. The cancer is not in remission, so we can't take the next step—stem cell therapy at UCLA.

You never know how much you miss a normal life until it’s gone.

As my wife has wished I’m doing my best to pour everything I have into my work but it’s hard to do when your heart feels like a wrung-out dishrag. But I’m doing it anyway. One word at a time, one page at a time, one chapter at a time, it will be done.

An opportunity popped up. TOR publishing had opened submissions for novellas, so I sent in The Crystal Sword. It’s a short story I wrote based in the world I’m currently writing in. I’m putting my work out there and we’ll see what happens.

In the meantime we have a new round of treatments in two weeks and I will be done with my book by that time. I'll set the novel aside for a week and just hold my wife’s hand as we get through this next round. 

The dragons can wait.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

The Bargain I Made With My Dying Wife

My wife has cancer, and we have been battling it since Sept 27, 2017. We finished six rounds of aggressive chemo in February and was told by the doctors in March that the cancer was dead. July 12 my wife started mixing up words and that morning could not even remember her name. We found out she has a tumor in her brain. They did a biopsy and took what they could from the tumor as it was in a difficult position. We started our second round of chemotherapy. Using enough Methotrexate to kill an elephant, but not my wife, she is still going strong.

That is why the conversation we had on the first of August took me by surprise. We have joked, laughed and sung through all of this. But Wednesday she sat me down and said, "You need to be ready when I die. I would like to be with you for ten or twenty more years, but I will be lucky if I make it another five. You need to be ready when I die."

This was not what I wanted to hear and I couldn't process it. I shut down. But that night it came back to me. I had a nightmare that I lost her and I would never be able to give her an answer. I woke up and pondered the issue. How can I prepare and reassure her that I will be fine when I'm impaired from being run over by a semi-truck 16 years ago and have diabetes and recently diagnosed with MS? I still have to scrounge up the money for a spinal tap and MRI to confirm it. Another MS sufferer told me I have about 5 years until I'm in a wheelchair. Again with the 5 years.

So when I visited my wife again I made her a promise, I would write my current 5 book fantasy series with all my energy and ability, finishing one book per year, if she promised not to die before the fifth book was finished. She agreed and we shook on it.

It is still my hope and prayer that my wife will be cured and that we will laugh about this many years from now. Until then, I will do my best to create stories that will honor her memory, and that she will never be forgotten.