RTW: Time for Thanks

Road Trip Wednesday is a "Blog Carnival," where YA Highway's contributors and followers post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on their blogs. You can hop from destination to destination through the YA Highway site and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

This week's topic: What writing or publishing-related thing(s) are you most thankful for?

Okay, I do a lot of tongue-in-cheek posts, but this one's going to have some serious stuff seep into it. I'm thankful for all the people (my husband, my crit group, my betas) that support me in my writing life and regular life, because otherwise both aspects could have had some major setbacks in the last year.

This time last year, when I went in for my regular annual checkup at my doctor's I pointed out the lump in my neck and wondered, "Is this supposed to be here, or am I growing an Adam's apple? Cuz as far as I know, I've always been a girl." The doc said, "hmm" and sent for an MRI.

It came back as multiple nodules on my thyroid, probably goiters (there's a word you want to hear in your 30s) or adenomas. So two inconclusive biopsies later and half a year later, I could have a risk of cancer as low as 5% or as high as 30%.

But in the meantime, one nodule had grown some so a total thyroidectomy was recommended. They were so confident that this was all benign that they kept pushing my surgery out to fit in people with more life-threatening conditions. Since I was working on a revise-and-resubmit at the time (yay!), I was totally fine with that.

So I finished the revisions and sent them off a few days before my surgery, and was satisfied that my recovery time would overlap with the agent's reading time. My surgery went well, the recovery was a cake walk compared to the back surgery I had a few years ago, and everything was on track.

Now if you're a writer reading this, did you just have an "uh-oh, that sounds like the calm before the storm" moment? Because it was--after being assured multiple times that this was most likely benign, that phone call where they told me it was thyroid cancer came as a shock.

But the cancer word was cushioned with some (relatively) good news: my cancer had fairly clean margins, there were no indications that it had spread to my lymph nodes, and the radiation treatments for thyca are not as destructive as other kinds of radiation.

And this time they were right: I had my radiation at the beginning of the month, and the scans show no metastasis. So I'm good; no worries for another year, when they will do an ultrasound and check my thyroglobulin.

Went from a thyroid cancer diagnosis to thyroid cancer survivor within the space of a few months, what a roller coaster ride! And along with all this stuff, I had the usual writing drama with revisions, querying, the revise and resubmit requests, and so on. My crit group got a few panicked emails in there, believe me! And my husband had to pick up a lot of slack around the house, so thanks to all of you!

This week, I'm making some more cuts to my first novel, and then back to working on my next book. Onward!

Together we're better - ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors' Association Support Community

What about you--What are you thankful for in your writing life or otherwise? Don't forget to go to the comments on the YA Highway RTW post to see everyone else's answers!


Colin Smith said...

Wow, what a year!! I'm glad everything's looking good for you now. I hope things only continue to get better for you, Angelica. Happy Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Colin--what a year! I'm relieved that your treatment was a success, and that your life is returning to normal. Or, should I say, as "normal" as a writer's life can be! Good luck with the revisions, and let me know when you're ready to swap some pages.

Happy Thanksgiving, my friend!

Nancy Herman said...

All of us in your crit group know you are no quitter! I think I can speak for all of us when I say how much I admire your grace, courage and all-important humor during this past year. You are definitely the heart of our crit group. Happy Thanksgiving!

beck nicholas said...

Wow, you've been through a lot and still manage to be thankful. Glad you are in the survivor category now.

Katy Upperman said...

Onward is right! You weren't kidding when you said 2011 wasn't a banner year for you. I'm so sorry to hear about your health road bump. I'm sure that was an incredibly scare time. But, I'm thrilled to know that you're now cancer free!

Here's to 2012 being a bazillion times better, and good luck with your revisions and writing. Fingers crossed for lots of good news in your writing (and regular!) future!

Anonymous said...

So glad everything is alright now. May the rest of the year and 2012 be wonderful for you!

Angelica R. Jackson said...

What nice comments to wake up to! Thank you all so much for your support. Now I'll have a nice quiet Thanksgiving with just my husband and kitties. I may not even get out of my fleecewear, ahhhh.

Anonymous said...

It really seems like a roller coaster year and you appear to be a trooper. Reading your post, I can tell that you are a fighter, with a good sense of humor. It must have been difficult and I am sure you must have smiled writing this thank you list this year. Happy that you´re alright and best of luck! Happy Thanksgiving!

Unknown said...

Such an inspiring story! Thank you for sharing it. Best of luck with those novel cuts, they can be tough!

Kris Atkins said...

WOW. So glad everything turned out okay. That must've been terrifying. I'm glad you were able to keep writing the whole time. That's impressive!

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