Where have I been?
I know that’s what you’re asking. Sure.
This has been a most interesting year, full of all sorts of changes for me.
But I’ll not bore you with the details of all that.
In January, I moved in with the strange and lovely Sarah — music aficionado, lover of all things creepy and Lovecraftian — a writer no less. She plays Wipe Out on the drums, and the birds and the squirrels come to gather ’round and sing the guitar. She never gets wet, she smiles and it’s a rainbow.
And she’s always smiling.
She is the loveliest person you’ll ever meet, and yet, she can swear like a sailor. Everywhere she goes she engages people, striking up conversations with strangers like they were long lost friends.
Even my ex-wife agrees that Sarah is my soulmate. We are two chocolate-covered caramel/cookie sticks in a wrapper. I jokingly say that she is Helena, because she’s so much like me, only a woman. And oh, my, is she a woman.
She’s my teenage fantasy, and I when I’m with her I feel eternally 17 and crazy, just like Clarisse from Fahrenheit 451.
We write together — or we were, but more on that later. I seriously have a creative foil/partner, a best friend, and one hell of a lover. (Seriously, you don’t even wanna know, or you’ll just be too jealous).
So, Sarah and I were working on the third and final installment in the Jessica story (and it’s all still there, in notes and pages and dictated messages) but then Sarah started getting sick. One night, she passed out without any warning, and collapsed on the floor. She’d get sick and dizzy at work, and had to leave ill a few days in a row.
For several months, her doctor had just been throwing different pills at her to stop very irregular bleeding, but it wasn’t until leaving work early one day, we decided to go to the hospital, where they ordered some bloodwork.
Then came the call at nearly midnight from the lab, saying that Sarah needed a blood transfusion right away — her red cell count is supposed to be between 100 and 150, but Sarah’s was at 51.
The next step was to figure out why she was bleeding, and so she went for more tests, more poking and prodding.
But even when the doctor came back with the results and said that Sarah would need surgery to remove a growth on her ovary, no one mentioned CANCER. In fact, it wasn’t until about a month after the surgery that the official diagnosis was made: Stage Four Endometrial Cancer. The surgeon removed both ovaries (one was about 30cm /12″ in diameter), her cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, a bit of her liver and some fatty tissue.
Sarah’s first step after the staples came out and she was healing nicely?
Put a tattoo on it, of course!
So now, Sarah’s doing chemotherapy, and she’s only got two more sessions to go. But they’re getting worse on her, so we’re both holding our breath waiting for this to be over. She’s otherwise healthy and in good spirits — always smiling. You’d hardly know she was sick, most days, because she radiates hope.
We were SO fortunate to have our friend Dana (you remember Dana, darlings — artist that created those lovely pictures of Helena and Penny and the dread Jessica as well) come and visit for a weekend, and the two became fast friends and I don’t think we stopped laughing all weekend.
We do a lot of laughing.
If only the utility companies, etc… accepted laughter as payment, we’d laugh all the way to the bank.
So, at the prodding of a friend, Sarah set up a GoFundMe account to let people know that we’re struggling. Sarah’s been off of work since March, and every month it gets harder and harder to make ends meet. Any surprise expense, like a car payment, throws us topsy-turvy.
I know, I know, you’ve been there, too. Hell, I vacation there. But with everything that Sarah’s dealing with, it hurts that she worries about money, too. We’re doing the best we can, but it’s often not been enough in the last few months. And when Sarah’s Medical Leave benefits run out and she returns to work, we don’t know if she’ll be able to work full time or not. So we’re in a place where we need to plan for the possibility of a storm in the next couple of months, but we’re already drowning (or barely keeping afloat) now.
So there you go. That’s our story.
If you want to help Sarah and I out, go HERE: Help Make Ends Meet
Keep this lady smiling.