I don't think I made the official announcement on here because I suck at blogging. Now is as good of time as ever, though, right?
Sarah O'Rourke, Sarah Curtis, Brynne Asher, and I have teamed up on an anthology of four short stories, Little Black Dress. You can add it to your TBR list HERE.
In August, I wrote a blog post about all that was happening with my dad. I wanted to update again with why this project is so important to me.
This might turn into a long post, but I feel like it's important for me to share... I think. *shrug* (Sorry about typos) A year ago, my life changed in ways I could've never predicted. Around this time of evening, I got a call from my mom, letting me know that her and my dad were on the way to the hospital. For a while, he'd been experiencing back pain and numbness. He'd gotten a big brush off from his doctor, but the pain was increasing. Urgent care did a short check before ordering he head right to the amazing hospital we are fortunate enough to have near us. Without hesitation, I told my mom I'd be there and asked her to send me her dinner request. It didn't matter that at the time we thought that it was just a slipped disc. If there is ever anything going on, I'm there. Mom knew this by then and didn't bother arguing with me, lol. (And, for curious minds, I picked her up a bahn mi sandwich. My car smelled delicious, but I haven't been able to bring myself to eat one since). Shortly after I got there, Dad went for an MRI. I hung out with my mom, chatting and keeping her distracted. It's what I always do. We talk about gossip, I make jokes, we talk food. In our mind, we were waiting to hear about when he'd have back surgery. Obviously, the results were much different. For those who have cancer or love someone who does, you know the shock of hearing the diagnosis. In my dad's case, we weren't being told he had the beginning stages. His cancer had already spread to his bones. He was already in stage 4. Riddled with massive tumors in his bones. We didn't have the chance to adjust to the diagnosis. We didn't have the chance to *fight* it. The damage was done and there was no reversing it. Wonderful doctors do what they can to stop the spreading, but it is just prolonging what is an ugly inevitable. Don't get me wrong, I'll take it. Every extra day with him, I'll take. But we all know that the finish line is much closer than we'd have dreamed of a year and a day ago. The physical changes my dad has gone through in this past year are indescribable. But cancer doesn't just spread throughout the body. It spreads through the mind, tainting memories. It spreads throughout the house, a constant unspoken of elephant trying its best to squash every bit of normalcy. Every unfulfilled plan feels a mix of urgent and hopeless. Every minute spent relaxing feels wasted, despite how necessary it is that his body rests. Every new plan for the future has a nasty silent asterisk attached to it. There are a lot of times when I know he's close to giving up, and I don't blame him. I'm selfish and not ready to say goodbye, but I understand. I still go to every appointment with him, and I do everything I can to show him support. To tell him how proud I am of him. But at some point, he'll reach the end, either mentally, physically, or both. And I have to be okay with that. Because, from the outside looking in, the pain can reach unbearable levels... I can't even imagine how he feels. The ugliness of cancer spreads, infecting his body and mind before growing out into his house and family. And GIlda's Club gives him a place to speak without having to watch what he says in consideration to us. Because, despite all he's going through, he's still more concerned with us than he is with himself. This is why Gilda's Club is so important to me. He has the chance to meet with other people who can relate to him better than I ever could. He has support as he deals with the pain and frustration of treatments. He'll have extra support as he reaches the time when the disease has taken more than he has to give. So, on this day especially, I'd like to thank everyone who will be purchasing Little Black Dress since the net proceeds will be donated to Gilda's Club. And I'd like to thank Sarah O'Rourke, Sarah Curtis, and Brynne Asher for all agreeing to donate to this charity. They've all shown their love and support throughout the last year, but this is just so much more.