Saturday, January 28, 2012

It's Been So Long

I've been away.
I've been busy.
There's been drama.
And there's been the book.

Yes, that about sums up my life of late. Let's start with the good stuff.

I did make my deadline in turning in my manuscript. Then I promptly turned my attention to creating videos (yes, plural!) for my publisher's sales conference. This is all very good that they want a video...but it's a lot of work. Especially for someone who knows zip/zero/nada about film/video/visual stuff (really, I've had to call Chris on more than one occasion to have him walk me through turning on our television; you know, so it had sound and a picture, preferably matching, but I'm not that picky). Videos are now in the hands of the professionals (can video be photoshopped? Please say yes.). And there's been much progress on the book cover design--beyond exciting. I can't wait to share all of these things with you.

But then there was the bad stuff. Seamus was diagnosed with cancer again. No easy way to say that, but I hasten to add--it is not believed to be life threatening. He was diagnosed with an eye melanoma on December 7th. (Of course it was December!!!). I know I've blogged since then and I haven't mentioned it--frankly, I was too upset about it. He had surgery to remove the tumor on December 14th and has made a stellar recovery.  We are hoping to save the eye (although Chris keeps saying if ever there was a dog who could rock an eye patch, it's Seamus) through the surgery and medication. He needs two different eye drops--one is only once a day but the other is 4 times a day. And he's on steroids to deal with the inflammation post-surgery. Beagles have crazy voracious appetites when they aren't on steroids. A beagle on steroids is ....well, his appetite is completely insane. He's broken into the cupboard under the  kitchen sink and ravaged the trash so many times (and he cut his paw opening the baby locks on the cupboard!) that we now keep the trash bag in the sink! Other than that though, Seamus is doing fantastic. He's been in all the video filming with me and was even able to "pose" for the book cover photo shoot at the end of December.

The top photo was taken in October--for book purposes. This is also the day I noticed there was something wrong with Seamus's left eye. If you look closely at his left eye you can see that it's very red. And at one point when the sunlight hit his eye at a particular angle I could see that his eye was filled with blood (not bloodshot in the whites of his eye, but the normally brown portion of his eye was now red). He was first treated for allergies and then an infection and when nothing helped I said "that's it--we're going to a specialist." We visited the doggie ophthamologist on December 7th and he gave the diagnosis. He also said I was lucky. I'd caught it early. Yep.This is the third one--Seamus's, mine, then Seamus's again. It's what I do--I catch cancer early.

Seamus and I at Huntington's dog beach 1 month after I finished treatment and on the day Seamus was released from his oncology follow-ups. Survivors, people. You're looking at Survivors.
And today is my 3 year celebration. As of today, I am 3 years cancer free. I like to think that Seamus is, as always, right there with me. Cancer-free.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Three Years

Three years ago today I was told I had a duck. Okay, well actually I was told I had breast cancer. Well, no, I was told both things.

I'll explain.

 In the days leading up to the actual diagnosis, one goes through many tests (and sleepless nights). And then one waits a few days (and sleepless nights) for the test results. So I took plenty of opportunities to ask my doctor  "so you think this is cancer?" You know, pushing for an early diagnosis because I'm an over-achiever. And Dr. Good Karma kindly and patiently said each and every time,  "it walks like a duck and talks like a duck so for now we're going to treat it like a duck." (Keep in mind he has a bit of an accent.)

When he had the test results in hand he called and said "I'm sorry. It is what we thought it was." And I said,
"So it's a duck?"  He said, "Close. It's invasive ductal carcinoma." 

Get it? Duct-al? Duck? Yeah, we can laugh now. (And I actually did laugh then.) That however was three long years ago. The cancer is long, long gone (hold on for that anniversary...January 28th...which is when my right breast had the "divot extraction" ).  And I'm doing....just ducky. (Oh come on, you knew that was coming!)

Happy Anniversary to me!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Manuscript to Editor, Me to Beach

I did it!

The manuscript for The Dog Lived (and So Will I) was turned in to my editor at Sourcebooks with 11 entire minutes to spare! I sort of thought when I turned in the manuscript angels would sing, champagne corks would pop and marching bands would storm through my living room. That didn't actually happen. Huh. Imagine that.

 What did happen is that I collapsed in a pile of anxiety and exhaustion. But, I rallied. I rallied enough to go celebrate at Hotel Del Coronado with two girlfriends and a few glasses o' that champagne.  I'll tell you more later. For now, I'd just like to share with you that I stayed an extra day and made sure I got to walk the beach at sunset.

 A few other folks had the same idea.
 And some surfers too--those black dots on the waves are surfers (and check out that sun! It's melting into the ocean!)

 Surfers were still hanging in there.

Have I mentioned how much I love La Jolla?
And, dare I say it? 2012 isn't looking too bad either.