As I've noted in the past, there are certain aspects to my life that keep me from writing here as much as I might otherwise prefer. One of them is my job, for which I do an awful lot of writing, and the other is something I don't talk about very often. A few of my closest friends around these parts have been kept informed but generally I don't like to talk about my sickness. My cancer.
The brain has these supportive cells called "glial" cells, which basically maintain and myelinate major neurons. In 2011, at age 28, I was diagnosed with a glioma, which is cancer of the glial cells. I was diagnosed due to some pretty major visual disruptions, which revealed a tumor the size of a lemon in my brain. It was located near the front, and had grown so large it was crushing my occipital lobe (in the back, where vision is regulated). The treatment went very well but we didn't pull any punches. The benefit to that was an extremely good outcome, better than anyone had predicted. The downside is that most of those treatments are so damaging they can only be performed once per patient. Basically, we decided to bet it all, get me what time we could, and then accept that if the cancer ever came back, we'd be left with only the treatments developed in the interim. I had three great years with no deficiencies. Had I the chance to make that choice over again, I absolutely would make it the same way. No question.
But it did come back, and far more aggressive.
When I was first diagnosed it was stage 2, which meant very slow-growing. Now it's stage 3 and they suspect parts of it are stage 4, therefore they are treating it as a stage 4. I have lost about a week's worth of memory and my memory is kind of crappy in general. I'm no longer working, or living on my own. My parents are helping to care for me, since it's just no good to have someone with my kind of memory living off alone and unattended. They've installed a port in my chest that I suspect I shall wear into the grave. They inject drugs into the port that prevent me from healing. The idea is that it will cut off the blood flow to the tumors and they'll wither and die. Such a strange, weird, interesting disease, this cancer.
I'd had a big master plan for this, to release what was left of Thief's Burden and some other projects and notes, let you folks pick up where I'd left off or somesuch. Unfortunately I dragged my feet a little too much and without knowing exactly how long I have left, I may need to rush things. I'll try to do right by you all, though I imagine some of you are wondering if this is really how I wish to spend what remains of the time I have left: writing fetish erotica.
Thief's Burden has been some of the most rewarding work I've ever done. Sure I haven't made any money from it, or even renown really, but people care about it. A lot. Some of you are the sorts of die-hard fans a writer could work an entire lifetime pursuing. You definitely appreciate me more than my bosses and co-workers, and that's enough to garner some loyalty, I think. Annie's story is a good one, one worth telling. Maybe I can't tell it as elegantly as it deserves any longer, but I'm going to do my best to see it told. Hopefully without projecting too much. And should there come a day when I can no longer carry this particular burden, I'll see about passing it on to a willing surrogate. That remains a ways in the future, let's hope.
In the meanwhile, if you wish to help me out with some medical bills, toss me a private message and we'll see what we can figure out. Or buy yourself a delicious bacon cheeseburger and consume it in my name.
And above all, try to be happy with what you've been given. I am.