This is a long one, but really… there’s no short way to say the things I want to say here….
When I started this writing gig, I made a promise to myself and to you, my readers, that I would not have a wall between us. I promised that we would take this writing journey together. I promised to let you see me as a human being, not just as some aloof author.
Well, in keeping with that promise, I’m going to share a very painful and scary thing that happened to me today.
It started with three words that were spoken to me today… these three words have flipped my world upside down…
“You have cancer.”
Today, I was diagnosed with cancer. Since the diagnosis just came today, I don’t have all the details yet. I’m not going to go into details about the cancer itself, but the doctor thinks it’s treatable and I have no plans to die anytime soon. I have a fight ahead of me, sure. I’m looking at the Full Monty with this thing. Chemo, radiation, possible surgery, the works…
But it’s a fight I plan to win.
So while this might slow down the completion of Day Soldiers 5 and The Man From Newella 3, rest assured I do plan to finish them (and the rest of both series).
Right now, though, I’m surrounding myself with family and friends and I’m just preparing for the fight ahead. Because of this, you might see less of me online in the coming months.
I am, however, considering sharing my experience with you guys in coming blogs. Doing so would be me keeping my vow to remain an open book to my readers (pun intended). And if there’s any chance that sharing my experience might help others who are fighting cancer, it’s something worth doing, I think.
And I am, after all, a writer. Writers write. It’s what we do. For a writer, writing isn’t just a means to an end. The process of writing is a form of therapy for us.
So what do you think? Would regularly sharing my experience with this be something good, or is it something you think I should keep off my blog? Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments.
Rule Number One
If I do write more about this experience, I feel I should warn the faint-of-heart that “Rule Number One” is a very real thing in my house. It’s something my wife, my friends, and I believe in wholeheartedly.
So what is Rule Number One?
Rule Number One: Everything is Funny
Now, to be clear, Rule Number One does not mean we callously laugh at everything, no matter how hurtful it is.
Rule Number One simply means we find humor in any situation, no matter how scary. It’s our way of taking the power away from whatever it is that’s terrorizing us. Through humor, we make the scary things just a little less scary.
In regards to this whole cancer thing, it means I might sometimes find aspects to laugh about. For example, here’s an interaction I had with one of my nurses today (a little backstory, for the past 48 hours, I haven’t been allowed to eat or drink because of various tests):
Nurse: “The doctor said you’re cleared to eat now.”
Nurse: “So what would you like to eat? You can have anything you want, no restrictions.”
Me: “Outback steak.”
To explain, the nearest Outback is about a 2 hour drive from the hospital here.
Nurse: “You’re funny.”
Me: “You said anything.”
Nurse: “Well, I meant–”
Me: “I have cancer.”
Nurse: “I realize that, but I meant anything from the hospital here–”
Me: “Perhaps you didn’t hear me. I have cancer.”
This little interaction went on for a bit longer before we eventually compromised with a turkey sandwich and some veggie soup.
That’s just one example of how I’m trying to find ways to smile, despite what’s happening.
That said, I do want to say the staff here at the hospital is a great bunch of people. They’ve been kind and very tolerant of the fact that I often act like a complete idiot. They’ve really helped to make these first few days tolerable.
So anyway, I guess that’s it for now. It’s late and I felt the need to write about this, so here it is. Over the past few years, I’ve done my best to entertain you with these blogs. I hope I’ve succeeded on some level. And if I have, don’t worry. This isn’t the end. You can expect plenty more for a very long time.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared, but honestly… I’m more determined than I am afraid.
Life’s an adventure, and all good adventures have scary parts.
And that’s what this is. It’s one of the scary parts of my adventure.
But I’m gonna get through it, Indiana Jones style.
Thanks for reading my barely coherent mental floss.
p.s. My friends call me Bran. From now on, that’s how I’ll be signing all my blogs, because I genuinely consider you all my friends. For the past two years, I have been living the dream of being a full-time author. I fully plan to continue living the dream for a very long time, and I owe that to you. I couldn’t have done it without you and it’s your support that allows me to continue doing it.
Thank you all.