I can’t sleep, but this time it’s different.
The days are getting better as they go on. I have a panic attack when I wake up. I take my Ativan. I calm down. Things get better. By the time 10 p.m. rolls around, my brain kicks into high gear. I’m a planner. When I have a plan, I feel better. So that is what my brain wants to do: plan.
My parents are coming to stay with us, so I need to write up guidelines around how to take care of the babies, for them to refer back to. I need to find a babysitter for the day that we’re going into the city to talk to the oncologist. I will need to make a post on Facebook to ask friends and family who can take them for the day. And my hair. I need to shave my head.
I don’t want to shave it too soon. It would be ridiculous if I shaved my head, but they’re doing surgery first, and radiation and chemo start in a month or three. But I have to tell my hairdresser. I have an appointment on November 24th, but I can’t just show up without warning him.
Me: *sits in the chair*
Him: *pulls out a strand to check the length* “What are we doing this time? Just a trim, like usual?”
Me: “No, I have breast cancer, and I need you to shave it all off.”
Him: *blank look* “Are you… ?”
Me: *starts crying while everyone who’s just chilling getting their hair done stares at me*
No, that doesn’t work.
I will go in and see if he’s available to talk to. Except maybe he’s not there that day. So I will call. But what will I say? “Is Mark N. working? I have a special request for him.” Maybe I can just do it over the phone. That will eliminate some of the crying. It’s easier to tell people over the phone. But I can’t do it until I know what the diagnosis is and the plan. So I will have to wait until the 15th, when I have my appointment.
It seems so far off.
I really need to sleep.
It is 3 a.m.
Why can’t I be this optimistic and full of vigor when it’s a decent time of day?
You know what’s shitty about cancer? It’s not just one thing that it affects. It’s not like, “Here is this shitty thing. You have cancer. You might suffer a bunch with treatments that are shitty, and then you might die anyway.”
No, it’s not just that.
Cancer invades every individual part of your life, and it takes each specific thing, and it turns it to shit.
I’ve been trying for a while now to figure out how to make a living off my writing. Last year, I decided I was going to write to a specific genre. I did some research, saw what people liked, decided I could write it with my own spin. I was going to launch a new pen name, write a series, and then release it rapidly.
Then I got pregnant with twins. It got pushed back because I felt like crap. I had no creative drive.
But now that the twins are here and they’re past the newborn stage, I’ve been writing. I’ve been editing. I’ve been poised to launch Ariel Jade in February. That was going to be it. I was going to blast a series into the world, and then hopefully I would gain enough momentum to justify writing a second series, and maybe I wouldn’t have to go back to my day job, which I have no passion for.
Except, nope. Now I can’t.
But not only that—
I launched a prequel novella in mid-October. The plan was to put it out there, get some reviews, and then start using it as a lead magnet (i.e. giving it away for free to entice people to buy the rest of the series). I’ve only done two things to promote it: talk about it in some sci-fi romance Facebook groups and run ads on Amazon. I’ve not even promoted it to friends and family.
As of this morning, I have six reviews. Every single one is either four or five stars.
This is shit.
Because people like it.
It means my dream of launching these books, this series, could be a success because people like it, and I know now how to launch and market books more successfully than with my Fallen Redemption series. In fact, this book is a novella with a simple plot—decent, but not my best work, if I’m being honest. The other three books in the series are mostly written, and they’re all better than this one.
So if people like this one, they’re going to love the other ones.
BUT NO, I HAVE CANCER, AND I CAN’T LAUNCH THE NEXT ONES BECAUSE CANCER.
Cancer is like… like… a cancer, that invaded my life and cancered up everything it could get its cancery hands on.
Fuck you, cancer. Fuck you so much.