One month, you guys! I haven’t blogged in a month!
This is going to be a long one, so buckle up!
Of course, I haven’t blogged because I have been busy promoting This Love (thank you to all the bloggers and readers who left a review) and I started writing my next book!
Also, in a twist of events, I’ll be attending my very first BOOK SIGNING!!!
I’ve been invited to attend the “Black & Gold Author Event” in Pittsburgh, PA, organized by Southern Belle Book Blog. Not only I’m over the moon about attending, but I’ll be surrounded by so many authors I adore and admire. I hope to not embarrass myself too much fangirling all over them! The event is SOLD OUT!
Since I’m going to bring some swag about my next book to the signing, I thought this would be a good time to reveal what my next book is about.
A few months ago, I started having a lot of breast pain and I went in for my first mammogram.
Before I went to the doctor, my breasts had been aching for a couple of weeks. At first, I thought it was due to my period coming up, but when it didn’t go away, I got worried. I had other symptoms that were suspicious too.
For a few weeks, it felt like my skin was on fire. My mammogram was negative, thankfully.
My symptoms didn’t go away and they extended to my lymph nodes, arms, and at times, legs. My joint would be inflamed from time to time. I would start my days perfectly fine and then my body would ache so much I basically felt miserable the whole time I was at work. By the time I got home in the evening all I wanted to do was to curl into a ball and rest.
I had a solid 3-4 months of test after test, during which I found out absolutely nothing. Every single test came back negative.
The only “discovery” was a severe Vitamin D deficiency, for which I was put on an eight-week supplement regimen.
My symptoms, which had started late March, improved around July. I felt better, almost going back to my “old self”.
My doctor still couldn’t find a reason to explain what I “had” and nothing came up from the various CT scan and MRIs she ordered.
Today, I still don’t know what caused all that. I’m starting to think it was stress related, because, when I overdo it and don’t get enough rest, I start feeling the same pain in my joints and my arms. I should probably go see my doctor again, but I don’t know what else is really to test (I have been tested for autoimmune diseases a couple times, and both times the test was negative).
Although I still don’t understand what “had gotten into me”, I’m so glad to feel better. For weeks though, I felt terrible.
When I started having breast pain, coupled with other symptoms typical of breast cancer, I thought it was “my turn”.
I remember sitting in the room waiting for my mammogram response and thinking “This is it”.
I remember lying on the bed and wishing I could feel like myself again.
I started thinking about the people who do get diagnosed with cancer. I started thinking about working moms like me, who have to go through breast cancer and still manage to keep their life and family together.
At the same time, I came across this article about Emily McDowell’s line of “no bullshit” empathy cards.
McDowell, a breast cancer survivor herself, had designed the kind of cards she’d wished she had received herself.
Not only I was impressed by McDowell’s witty design, but the comments to the article were really eye-opening: so many cancer survivors or friends and family of cancer patients shared their experience openly. Many complained about how people “disappeared”. Some talked about how a lot of people didn’t know how to be supportive in the right way.
I think it was a mix of my “condition” at the time and this article that sparked my interest and got me thinking about a new story. I kept trying to think when was last time I had read a romance novel where the cancer patient was a woman my age, maybe a mom with kids. A woman who was looking forward a new beginning and not a death sentence.
Sure, there are quite a few books out there about cancer, but I wanted one that encompassed humor, fear, love. One that made you shed a few tears, but that didn’t completely wreck you (I can’t read those books, you guys).
It was from my pained ramblings that Lucy was born. I can’t wait to tell her story and I hope I do her justice.
Wish me luck!
If you want to tell me your F U Cancer experience and you want to do it anonymously, fill this form. I would love to hear from patients, survivors, or anyone who’s had a dear one fighting cancer.