Author has written 84 stories for StarTrek: Voyager, and StarTrek: The Original Series.
January 17, 2021
What a year, huh? I hope you're doing well in lockdown and wearing your masks when you go out.
I've had quite the dramatic six months. In June I woke up with a searing pain in my sternum that I couldn't explain. Neither could the Telehealth docs. A month and a half later, I was finally able to get a chest X-ray to rule out broken ribs or a cracked sternum. If only it had been that simple. Long story short, I started chemotherapy for Stage IV metastatic breast cancer in August. This is the form of breast cancer that one one wants to talk about. No one likes to use the word "terminal" anymore; "incurable" is the current favorite. Whatever the nomenclature, my prognosis is grim. Therapies are getting better all the time and living 10 or more years with this condition is no longer unheard of ... but it is still rare. The more likely scenario is that I take oral chemo drugs for a year or two, now that I'm done with IV chemo, and the oral chemo drugs stop working. I can try others, but eventually this cancer will consume me. The average life expectancy for my condition is about 3 years. I will never ring the bell, I will never be a survivor.
And in the middle of all that, about the time I had figured out my condition was more serious than just a cracked sternum ... my Dad died.
So ... yeah. It's been a lot.
While I've been coming to terms with this diagnosis, I've found myself returning to the things that make me feel like myself. But there's only small solace there. Chemo robbed me of so much energy that I had to stop running; I'm only now starting to walk a little. I bought an electric guitar but then the chemo caused so much sensitivity in my fingertips that I had to stop my online lessons. I can't go to my favorite restaurants because of COVID. I can't see my friends or my family back home in Indiana.
But I can write. And writing is one of the things that makes me who I am. So over the next few months, and hopefully years, I'll continue to find solace in this thing that I love. I invite you to come along for the ride.