Since I have a Kindle countdown in the UK scheduled to start on Saturday, I'm going to take this opportunity to shamelessly plug one of my books. My Butterfly Cancer is my personal memoir, portraying the battle I fought just last year with a life-threatening illnes: leukemia.
To explain leukemia in basic terms, it is a condition in which immature stem cells in the bone marrow never mature; they never become oxygen-bearing red blood cell, infection-fighting white blood cells, or platelets (responsible for blood clotting). They just sit there in the bone marrow, taking up space and crowding out normal, healthy cells. Initial symptoms can include fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath, easy bruising, easy bleeding, and colds or flus that just don't seem to go away.
My memoir was intended to be an inspirational hope to others who are suffering from cancer or other life-threatening illness. After all, when we initially heard my diagnosis, we were sure it was a death sentence. I'm sure others have felt that way too. Even though it was the hardest thing I've ever done, I tried to face each morning with the thought that I was going to fight another day.
Be prepared for raw, heart-wrenching emotion and bald honesty. One reviewer said "I could see it all in my mind, all too clearly." She lost a husband to leukemia on Valentine's day of this year. Another reviewer wrote: "She bares her soul and does it so eloquently...I cried in sadness and in joy."
So come and join me through the course of this journey, and find out how the butterfly effect took over my life, one small interaction that started an avalanche that culimated in me becoming a self-published author!
Am I the same person I was before cancer? Definately not, and I doubt I ever will be. I still have bad days. I still have pain from scar tissue left behind by a secondary infection. I'm still underweight, and I'm still waiting for my hair to return. Some organs don't work as well as they used to. That includes my brain; I think my memory may be irrevocably damaged.
But I'm still alive. I'm still here, and I never gave up. It was a life-long dream to get my stories published. I've tried many times, sent manuscripts to publishers myself (and most never even bothered to send a rejection letter), to hiring an agent, to self-publishing Once Upon a Western Way digitally two years ago. But cancer was obviously the catalyst I needed, that, and the gentle urging of an old friend. Am I sorry that I lost the person I used to be? Not anymore! There's my cover for My Butterfly Cancer. The second pic is my first post-cancer ride on my horse, Athena, July 4, 2014! What an independence day for me!