We do not celebrate Halloween. We turn off the porch light. We do not hand out candy. When the doorbell rings at dinnertime, we ignore it.
A celebration of death is not fun this year.
The Ativan has been helping. I’m able to focus on things. I’m able to push aside the fear. Meghan’s assurance that there are many treatment options has nestled itself in my brain. My panic attacks happen mostly when I wake up in the morning and discover, once again, the horrendous truth. When I’m dreaming, you see, I don’t have cancer.
“I don’t know what to do about my writing,” I say to my husband at the dinner table.
Under my S. L. Saboviec pen name, I have edits to do on the last book in my series, Warring Angel. It’s come back from the developmental editor, but with the twins and my other project, I’ve had no time to work on it. The other project–a sci-fi romance series I’m releasing under a different pen name—has consumed all my writing time. I have three books almost ready to go starting in February 2018, and one novella I’ve already released. I have plans. I have edits to do. I have things.
“I don’t know how I’m going to work on all of it,” I say. I don’t know if I should, especially if I’m going to—
“You know what I think?” he says. “I think you should write about this.”
I wrinkle my nose. I don’t write real life. I write speculative fiction. Angels and lasers, blue-skinned aliens and man-eating sirens. “Like a memoir?” Memoirs don’t sell easily to publishers. I mean, nothing sells easily to publishers, but why would I spend a bunch of time writing a memoir when it’s not my brand? I’ve never even read Eat, Pray, Love.
“They’ll be the truest words you have ever written,” he says.
When I was in college, I wrote on OpenDiary.com under the name Myriad. I was brutally honest with it—with the strangers who read it. It was my coming of age, not really all that interesting to anyone who looked in from the outside. (Plot to my story: Girl writes in diary every day. Oh, the thrills.) I’ve always wanted to be a writer, and my justification was that keeping a journal would be practice for the future.
Maybe it was practice for this.
That’s why I started this blog. It’s not your typical blog. It’s not going to have gluten-free recipes or how-to’s for cleaning your oven organically. It’s not going to be writing tips and tricks or even an everyday account of my life. It is, instead, my lifeline. I’m going to be brutally honest, and knowing the little I know about cancer treatment, it’s going to get ugly.
It’s not going to be for the faint of heart.
But maybe, someday, I can look back on it and pull some truth to use in my books.
If nothing else, it is my therapy. There’s something about writing that soothes me. When I’ve gone a while without writing (or editing, as long as it’s not just proofreading), I feel off-balance. Writing grounds me. I can’t believe I waited so long in my life to start writing again. I was putting it off and putting it off, telling myself that when I retire, I will learn how to write.
I’m thankful I didn’t wait.
That’s the other thing about this whole horrible ordeal. I don’t feel done. I have so many things left to do.
For one thing, I want to make a living off writing.
I want to take my daughters and husband to Africa and see the elephants roaming in a preserve, see the giraffes wandering about next to the spindly, spiked trees.
I want to buy or maybe build a large house on a sprawling estate, have a bedroom for each child, and a movie room in the basement.
I want to take yearly trips to the Caribbean.
I want to see them grow up and get married and have children.
I’m not done here. I’m not fucking done.
If I were done, wouldn’t I feel at peace? If what I believe is true, that we all make our own paths before incarnating, if we choose our own challenges, then I would feel done. I wouldn’t feel like there is so much left for me to do in this life.
I can tell you what I do feel. I feel like I’m going to be mobility handicapped when this is over. I don’t know whether this is a simple whispering fear, or if it’s a true premonition.
But I will take it, as long as I live. As long as I see my babies grow up. As long as I can do all those other things, the other things that are burned into my heart.
This blog will keep me focused. It will be my release valve.
And as my husband notes, “Maybe someday it’ll help someone else going through this.”