Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Unwelcome Blessing

The pain I'd been experiencing turned out to be cancer. The Namibian surgeon who discovered it strongly advised I return to the States for treatment. So I traveled to the States a month earlier than planned. As I contemplated the after effects of chemo, my plans for a writing retreat appeared to being evaporating. I left immediately and Val stayed behind to prepare the team for our extended absence. The stateside biopsy revealed GIST (Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor), a rare form of cancer that doesn't respond to traditional chemotherapy, but does respond to a targeted chemotherapy pill that I began taking with minimum side effects. Eventually the tumor would have to be surgically removed, but the immediate plan was to let the pill shrink my tumor as much as possible.  (Read more about GIST)

I jumped into writing with a vengeance. I finally had the necessary deadline, with "dead" being more than figurative language. Finish the book before cancer kills me. I no longer had years or decades to finish my dream. I had to finish now; I no longer had the luxury of procrastination.

In a strange way, cancer became a blessing. It gave me:

  • Reality check. - life is tenuous; squeeze each day for all it can give. 
  • Motivation - to write, although not in a way I would have wished. 
  • Urgency - write now; tomorrow may never come.
  • More Chapters – my already interesting story just got bigger. 
I used the cards God dealt me to build discipline into my writing. I buried myself into my book. It was therapeutic.