Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Aftermath: Bright Days Ahead

Lately, I tend to start every blog post with an apology over how long it's been since I've written. Apparently, I'm doing it again. But that's OK, because it has been a long time. That may or may not change, we'll see. But for now I'm writing and you're reading and that, my friends, is a beautiful thing.

2014 has been a great year for me. It's not quite time for that End-of-Year post, but given all that has gone on, I wanted to put words to what has happened so far, for those of you who don't speak to me regularly, for those of you who don't speak to me at all, and for myself. Because it's good to get it all down and it's nice to have a record of things that I can look back on. For personal reasons, I've never kept a diary. This is the closest thing I've got. Even though it's public. Even though literally anyone can read it, friend or foe. Even though it might not mean much to most. It's mine. And it's yours, too. The words I share here I share in the truest sense of the word. I give them to you as I've given words to many others over the years. Sometimes they are the best gift I can give.

Words are powerful, as a weapon, as a tool, as a gift. Words can convey loss, hope, fear, remorse, sympathy, and any of the other emotions that make up the human condition. These words are given with joy, gratitude, and more optimism than I can ever recall feeling.

I'm engaged to an amazing man. The man of my dreams. I mean that quite literally. I didn't have the best home life growing up. Part of what got me through it was the hours upon hours spent telling myself that someday things would be different. Someday someone would love me, value me for who I was (weirdness, horror fandom, eccentricity and all), want to be with me and me alone. It might seem silly or sad, but that was and always has been my greatest dream.

And it came true. A little over 3 years ago, I met the man I'm going to marry. He's everything I could have ever hoped for and more. He's my partner. My partner in crime. My partner in business. My partner in life. He's my dearest friend, my closest ally, my most enthusiastic supporter. He's also an amazing human being with a fantastic sense of humor, an unending well of kindness and generosity, and one of the most useful people I've ever met. He is, unquestioningly, the man I want to spend the rest of my life with. I can't believe I get to marry him. For the first time in my life, I have a home and a family and all the love and support I could ever need. It's just as wonderful as I always dreamed it would be.

Also in 2014, my 4-plus year long legal battle finally came to an end. After years of struggling, throwing thousands of dollars I didn't have at a problem that seemingly wouldn't go away, and being reduced to tears of frustration, I am finally free. I can move on now. I can put the mistakes of my past behind me without any fear that they'll come back to bite me someday. It may have taken more time and money than I would have liked, but in the end it was worth it. There is no price too great to pay for one's freedom.

I'm working on a pretty amazing project, too. I'm having so much fun writing this thing. Even things like writers' block and random plot issues aren't detracting from how thrilled I am to be part of this. I just know it's going to be great and I really hope everyone enjoys reading it as much as I'm enjoying writing it.

Last (but certainly not least), my battle with cancer is at an end. It seems weird to refer to it as a battle, when much of what I did was lying still: for tests, for treatments, for IVs and exams and follow ups and specialist visits. And I was extremely lucky. My experience with cancer hasn't been nearly as horrible, long, or painful as what many people end up with. The last round of test results were good, as were the set before that. I didn't say anything after the first set to anyone outside my immediate circle of friends and family because I was worried that one good result might be a fluke and I didn't want anyone else on that horrible roller coaster of  "Hooray I'm cured!" "Oh, wait, not really." But now I can conclusively say that there are no cancer cells remaining in my body. Even better, the rate of recurrence for the types of cancer I had are low, less than 25%.


This isn't my Happy Ending, it's a happy beginning.