I have made a lot of progress on my never-ending story of ranching in Gila County, published my mystery The Wham Curse, the second book Saints & Sinners is being published, and I am about one-third of the way into writing my third novel. This is very good.
For quite some time Lois, and consequently I, have faced some difficult medical and emotional challenges. She was diagnosed about six years ago with polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR), which is characterized by widespread pain in the muscles and joints and extreme fatigue. It has been treated with some success by very high doses of steroids and weekly injections of methotrexate, a drug commonly used as chemotherapy for breast cancer patients. Especially since February 2013 her PMR has been steadily improving. Again my not having to go to work meant I was able to be with Lois when she needed me. We have always enjoyed each other’s company so being together has been a blessing to both of us.
The really bad news is that the side effects of the medication have been very difficult, particularly for the past year. During that time the steroids have caused: muscle weakness, weight gain, diabetes, skin problems, cataracts, and a compression fracture in her lower back. The methotrexate caused, water retention, kidney problems, hair loss, dry skin, and extreme nausea for two or three days after each injection. She had disabling pain from the compression fracture, for which her only relief was powerful narcotic pain relievers. They caused extreme constipation even with a regimen of high fiber diet, stool softeners, and laxatives. That in turn resulted in a ruptured diverticula. She was finally released after three months of hospitalization on February 7, after having a section of colon removed, a hernia repaired, and prolapsed rectum reattached. Oh and during the hospitalization she got a blood infection in her PICC line that resulted in systemic sepsis with stroke-like symptoms, for which she is in physical and occupational therapy.
During the hardest part of Lois illness, Oak Tree Press, a small independent publisher acquired publishing rights for Saints & Sinners, a really happy event for me, but one that was overshadowed by our personal difficulties. Now that Lois is finally home and steadily improving (with a bump caused by a bad cold right now) I have finally been able to seriously start working on finalizing the text for publishing, will soon me working on a cover, and am developing a Marketing Plan, and preparing for the release of the book on May 1. I will write more on this in my next blog; there are some interesting differences in working with a self-publisher and working with a traditional publisher.
So final word on this bag of mixed blessings is that I’m so grateful for all that I’ve been blessed with. I grateful for the success my writing is meeting with. I’m most grateful that my dearest friend, the love of my life, is now healthier than she has been in a long time, and that I get to be with her every day. Life is good.