It’s been a while since I did an update, so here goes.
Let’s start with BITTER MAGIC, Demon Trappers #9. I finally have a solid first draft. As I’ve mentioned on my Facebook page, this story has fought me all the way so the fact I have reached this stage makes me very, very happy. I had some real concerns about this one, but I finally figured it out. <sighs in relief>
Is it ready to be published? Oh lord, no. At this point I have set the draft aside to “age.” When I start working on the next draft all sorts of things will jump out at me. I’ll check timelines, each characters’ goals and motivations, add more description and generally tune it up a bit. Then I let it age again before doing a final rewrite. This process, though slow, ensures that the story flows from start to finish, that it’s (hopefully) not a waste of your time reading it, and that it hews to the Demon Trappers’ canon. Barring any unforeseen issues I plan on publishing this book during Summer or Fall of 2024.
I’ve been working on this draft for over two years, and given the medical issues I been dealing with I am not busting myself up about that. Some days I could write, some days I just needed to sleep in my recliner.
How are things going with my health? (If you’re not familiar with what’s been going on see Plot Twist: A Personal Post)
Things are looking good and my hematologist agrees. I have completed all six of the R-CHOP immuno-chemotherapy sessions and managed to do so without major complications, which blows me away. I waited five weeks, had a repeat PET-TAC scan to see how things stood, had my doc eyeball that report, and now I’m on “Maintenance” as they call it.
Maintenance means I will receive a monoclonal antibody drug (Rituxin aka Rituximab) every eight weeks via IV for two years. This medicine was included in the R-CHOP protocol so I’m used to it at this point, and it is used for a number of diseases besides follicular lymphoma.
Rituxin has one job: find and attach itself to a particular protein (CD20) found on the surface of blood cells with cancer. At that point my own immune system will kill that cell, or the Rituxin will nuke it. Unfortunately, the med may also do the same to some healthy blood cells which would mess up my immune system. I’ll be having regular lab tests drawn to keep an eye on that and treat that issue as necessary. The key thing is to avoid any potential infections, bacterial or viral, which means I’ll be extra vigilant.
However, the big change is that I have more energy. This change occurred after the first “R” treatment and surprised me. I figured there’d be some fatigue but instead I found myself actually doing housework, puttering in the garden and writing. The energy seems to ebb and flow, but I’m good with that. Compared to the last two chemotherapy sessions, I’m doing great. There is some neuropathy in my fingers and feet, but nothing really bad. I'm taking Vitamin B supplements as per my doctor's orders and hopefully those symptoms will eventually vanish.
Oh, and my hair is growing back! It's incredibly short (I look like someone who has just completed basic training in one of the armed forces), but there is hair! I’m curious whether it’s going to be straight, curly or whatever. According to those who've gone through chemo what I had before might not be the same now.
So my main challenge is rebuilding my health and to remain focused on my writing projects. Given the way the year played out, I am so very grateful.
And that’s the latest. Please stay well, folks!
is an international & multi award-winning author in various genres including young adult, urban fantasy and paranormal romance.