A little while ago, this book showed up in the mail. While I was expecting an ARC, I did not at any point interpret an ARC to mean what I got. This is a hardcover book that is autographed by several authors, and absolutely superb quality (though I’ve been told it’s missing some artwork and other details, it doesn’t really matter. It looks amazing in its current condition). I’ve started reading the stories, and I love every one of them. This is a book I look forward to reviewing.
But the reason Shawn Speakman sent it to me is valid for this post.
This month is going to be a little hairy for me. I’m undergoing some cancer procedures, and ultimately, the cancer scan that could, after five years, put me in remission or send me back into more treatment, depending. I’ve started the horrible, and very limiting, cancer diet today, and I look forward to (/sarcasm font) plugging away with my diet, shots, pills, quarantine, and eventual scan. All of this should end on December 19. Then the following week, I should learn the verdict. Am I in remission? Finally? After five years of this hanging over me like a bad storm? I can only hope.
The diet makes me very, very sick. The shots make me feel like I’m dead. Not sick. Dead. They turn me off completely, and it’s one of the most horrible feelings ever, to be alive but not really feel alive. I can’t explain it. It’s like I’m swimming under water. The whole world is passing me by. It’s an uncanny experience and, as you can tell, it’s awful enough that I tend to fixate on how awful it is. The whole process is just about as emotionally draining as it possibly gets. It takes a minimum of a week to reboot myself to some sort of normal function after. About two weeks or longer to actually feel normal.
I feel like I’m back in a battle against myself right now, balanced on the edge of a knife. I have my game face on. I think cancer is just as mental as it is physical, and while I refuse to let this month beat me emotionally, I realize that it will make me very, very sick and my emotions will be… well, all over the place. And if you’re looking for some raw honesty, I’m tired. I’m so incredibly tired right now. This is my fourth time doing all of this and I’m drained. I’m ready to move on, or at least try to figure out how to move on after something like this happens to someone. I also feel horrible for feeling like that, because in the grand scheme of things, a lot of people have had it a lot worse than I have.
Anyway, my reviewing will absolutely be impacted this month. I won’t write a review when I’m feeling a little… whatever. That’s really not fair to me or the author.
It’s an interesting place, being here. I’ve never really had a scan that didn’t give doctors something to watch and wonder about. I worry. I dread. I am thrust into this weird place where I ponder what could be, but I’m too afraid to hope for what I want. I’ve been burned too many times. Five years. Three recurrences. That leaves its mark on someone. I’m looking back at what I’ve been through and feeling incredibly emotional. I don’t even know how to process good news in this sphere of my life. It’s been such a foreign concept for so long, I’ve refused to even think about it. Does one shrug off five years of cancer and move on? Do you walk out your front door and just resume from the point where everything went so wrong? What happens next? Is it like dirty clothes? Do I take them off, sigh a bit, and move on? Maybe it will be that easy. I guess I’ll let you know when it happens, which will hopefully be at the end of this month.
Best. Christmas present. Ever.
I feel like my whole life is holding its breath right now. And as you can see, I’m a little focused on this one thing.
Which is why Shawn Speakman sent me this gorgeous book. He’s a cancer survivor, and he understands. At times like this, commiseration and distraction is the best medicine. It’s the worry and waiting that slowly poisons a person. This book is exactly what I need. And I am thankful beyond words for his kindness.
So the moral of this personal diatribe is as follows:
1. Due to Cancer Crap, reviews this month will be wonky.
2. Check out Unbound, because this book is the shit.