2018 is one year I’ll be happy to see end. There were some good times, but all in all, this past year will not go down as one of my favorites.
If you’ve been reading this blog, you know I was taking care of my aging dog last winter. After he died, I concentrated on getting The Rambling Spy ready to publish. Once that was done, I took a couple of weeks off and then started working on the plot for the next book in the series. By September, I was ready to write again, and things were going well. My plan was to write the rough draft by the end of the year and then edit it in time for a late spring publication.
Those plans went out the window when I had my yearly physical, which included a 3-D mammogram. They found a “suspicious” area and scheduled me for an ultrasound assisted needle biopsy. After the results from that came back, appointments were made for me with a surgeon and an oncologist. Next came the MRI.
I wasn’t too worried about that until I found out they can’t do a breast MRI in an open machine, and the more I found out about it, the worse it got. You have to lie on a narrow table and be inserted into the MRI tube head first, which if you’re as claustrophobic as I am is the stuff of nightmares. I knew there was no way I could do it. So I started searching for alternatives.
It turned out that they can sedate you for an MRI if you insist on it, which I did. When I talked to them, they said it would be like the sedation used for colonoscopies (another joy) and cataract removals (which I’ve also had done). I jumped at that and told them to sign me up. One small catch – insurance doesn’t pay for it, and it’s not cheap. Even so, if they wanted an MRI, I had no choice.
I have to admit, the MRI was horrible, mainly because the anesthesiology technician who was administering the procedure did not want to be there. I don’t know if they pulled her in on her day off or what, but she definitely did her best to make the experience memorable, and not in a good way.
Once I survived the MRI, the next step was a meeting with the surgeon to go over the results. That’s when the other shoe dropped. They found some other “suspicious” areas and wanted more needle biopsies, this time done with MRI assistance. And that’s where I drew the line. There was no way that was going to happen.
I decided my best bet was just to be done with it once and for all. No more needle biopsies, no more breast MRI’s. I was going to have a bilateral mastectomy.
I’ve now had the surgery and am in the process of healing. It’s going well, but it’s not a surgery you bounce back from overnight. Hopefully I’ll feel like getting back to work before too long, but I’m not there yet.
So, if you’ve been hoping that the next book will be out soon, I’m sorry to disappoint you, but that’s not going to happen. At this point I couldn’t even hazard a guess as to when the rough draft will be done, much less all the editing, proof reading, and so on that has to be done before publication. All I can say is that I’ll start working on it again as soon as I can. I’ll try to keep you updated on the progress. In the meantime, thank you for your interest in the series, and for your patience.