It's been a while.
As some of you already know, early this year, I got sick and we weren't really sure why. In May, my doctor found and removed a very large pre-cancerous tumor from my colon. We hoped that would solve the problem and I would bounce back. Unfortunately, it didn't quite work out that way. Instead of getting better, I continued to get worse. In August, it all came to a head. I became severely dehydrated, lost 12 pounds in a very short amount of time (less than two weeks), and was generally not doing very well, so my doctor sent me back to the gastroenterologist to find an answer.
After undergoing all kinds of testing, I was tentatively diagnosed with Crohn's Disease. For those who don't know what Crohn's Disease is, it's an inflammatory bowel disease that causes parts of the GI tract to become inflamed and ulcerated. Left untreated, Crohn's can be life-threatening.
In September, I began a whole new medication regime to deal with the symptoms. In October, we added more medication for malabsorption and I left my job in Dispatch, hoping a reduction in stress would help. Things were going well for a little while there, but one of the big problems with Crohn's is that it isn't alway confined to the digestive tract. For a lot of people with Crohn's, it causes inflammation elsewhere. I'm one of those people. We've spent the last month and a half battling inflammation in my joints, and then pneumonia and inflammation in my lungs. Eleven different medications and an asthma diagnosis later, I've returned to my job in Dispatch, and am hopeful that, maybe, we're finally pulling ahead of this thing.
To say it's been an adjustment would be an understatement. At times, it's been frustrating. Overwhelming. Ridiculous. Painful. And about a thousand other things that I never expected. But I feel like we're finally moving in the right direction, and that's a relief. My life has changed. I can't eat the things I want to eat. Or always do the things I want to do. Sometimes, I'm too tired to function. Others, I'm not brave enough to wander too far from home. There have been days where SS has had to help me do simple things like put on my shirt because I couldn't move my arm enough to do it myself.
In October, SS took me to Branson to get away and relax. We had a great time, but I got sick the night before we were scheduled to come home. Neither of us slept much. It makes me worry how future trips will go. What if I get sick far from home? There are other questions, too. What if I can't find a bathroom when I need it? Or dehydrate again? What happens if the next test shows that pre-cancer has turned to full-fledged cancer?
I don't know those answers, and I haven't talked much about all of this up until now. I'm still not sure what to say. It wasn't something I suspected, though maybe I should have. With the brain lesions and other issues, all of which are symptons of Crohn's, being diagnosed makes so much sense. But I never thought about it, and the thought of living with this for the rest of my life is a little terrifying, as is the possibility of being diagnosed with colon cancer, which has already claimed the lives of people I love dearly. But I will bounce back, because I'm too stubborn not to do so.
While I'm still trying to figure out what the new "normal" is, I do know it involves writing. I haven't done any of that in a long time, and I miss it. I miss all of you. My current goal is to finish RAPTURE, and get it to all of you. You've been waiting so patiently. I don't know how long it will take me. I'm a little slower these days than I'd like. But it will be releasing sometime in 2017.
FLAME will also release sometime in 2017, but I'm not quite sure when. It's written and edited. We just have to finish the other stuff now (like cover art). I'll let you know more as soon as I know more.
In the meantime, thank you all for your thoughts, prayers, and your continued patience.