This blog post on Finding Dori was written on April 15th, 2016.
Yesterday was my first book’s launch day. I only get one of those. Kind of like a first Steelers game at Heinz Field. I only get one of those. So if the memory isn’t a good one – or one you’d prefer to forget -then you’re kind of screwed.
Back in June 2015, when I signed with Pen Name Publishing, the date of April 14th, 2016 seemed so far out there. And then slowly, week by week, edit by edit, building block by block, this new author experience and first book process came into a full blown photo. April 14th looked nice – a Spring day in North Carolina, a top-of-the-mountain feeling, a Rocky-at-the-Philadelphia-Art-Museum moment just a little while away….
But no. That was not my launch day.
My first book’s launch day was spent on the 3rd floor at UNC Lineberger Cancer Hospital, the chemotherapy infusion center, just like every two Thursdays for the past month and a half, with my husband who is receiving treatment for Stage 4 colon cancer. If someone told me that would be my launch day back in June, I’d slap a face (or “cut a bitch” to quote my friend). Cancer isn’t our family’s “thing.”
Well, now it is.
Basically, the Thursdays we spend there are long. My husband has to receive the chemo treatment which is the longest one, of course. We sit in our spot, he tries to get comfortable in the most uncomfortable place possible, the young UNC student volunteer comes by with his cart of coffee, Lorna Doone cookies and a smile, trying to make you feel like the worst situation in your life – ever – ever ever ever – might be momentarily lessened with his kindness – and really, it’s not, but one thing I’ve learned throughout this is that when you have cancer or when your loved one has cancer, people at the cancer hospital are the nicest people on the planet. It’s too bad they can’t all be cloned and brought outside of the hospital experience and into the “real world” – whatever that even is anymore.
There has been nothing but horrible news, results, and overall moments throughout this entire situation. We keep waiting for someone to come out of a room and at last announce, “Hey! We got good news!” or “We got news that doesn’t suck for once!” or “We got this under control!” or “Hey! Someone just found a cure!” Because really, that is all that will save him: a miracle. I know people believe in the “power of prayer,” and if God comes through for my husband, maybe my highly cynical Christian ass will have a turnaround. Because God knows I’ve prayed – and I’m not much of a pray-er anymore. God knows lots of people have been praying, people who fervently adhere to their faith. Would be nice if my husband was the tangible recipient of these kind folks’ diligent efforts on their knees. Would be great if he received the touch of God’s grace. I know I’ve bargained for it.
We met with a wonderful lady at UNC Lineberger, who coordinates events that raise funds for the hospital. She came by our little encampment and we discussed how we can best use my book to raise funds for Gastrointestinal Oncology research at UNC. She is going to set me up a “landing page” where people can donate funds to this cause, buy my book – where a portion of the proceeds will go toward this directly, and also where we can tell our story.
Scout’s Honor – which has absolutely nothing to do with cancer – is really the only thing that I have to give to try to help my husband and others in his situation or others who will be in his situation someday in the future. The hospital will be putting together a landing page for donations and my book and our story for me to share on my website and everywhere else I can share. If you donate or buy my book, please know that all the funds donated go directly toward the cause. So many charities use a lot of funds for their administration. This donation goes to the actual research. This is how progress is made – it is tangible, it is prolonging and saving lives, and I hope that something will be discovered in time to save my husband’s life.
Thanks for your support.