I asked for and received permission to post details about what's been keeping me away from the internet for so long. My last post was vague because I didn't want to share information that concerned others--specifically, as is probably pretty obvious, my mom, who is a private person.
Anyway, last month on June 23 Mom had a mild stroke. It's a long and frustrating story of tests and doctors and more tests and more doctors, but here's the short version: Mom has advanced cancer of the uterus, which caused her blood to be abnormally coagulative, which in turn caused a clot in her lungs, which in turn caused her stroke. She's now on bloodthinners to reduce the clotting and on chemo to address the cancer. Without treatment (chemo and bloodthinners), her life expectancy could have been as little as three months.
I've been staying with Mom at the hospital, with only flying visits home to do laundry, shower, and get stuff Mom and I need. For the last week she's been in the Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center's intensive therapy inpatient program, where she'll probably be for another week. She's doing very well, I'm happy to say. Her stroke was mild, leaving her with only mild physical issues (weak right arm and leg leading to some balancing problems and difficulties doing things like tying her shoes and buttoning clothes) and moderate expressive aphasia, which is a fancy way of saying that somewhere between her brain figuring out exactly what she wants to say and her mouth forming the words, the words vanish into nothing. She's already regained a lot of speech, but it's incredibly frustrating for her--especially considering how eloquent and articulate she's always been. But she's very fortunate that her cognitive abilities are not affected.
I've taken a leave of absence from work until at least the end of August. I have been writing, though. I dusted off Bunny the eee and have typed up everything I wrote longhand during that horrible first week in the hospital. Now that Mom's in therapy most of the day, I write mostly in the evenings. I'm at 50,000 words in my YA novel, Misfits. My novel The Taste of Magic releases from Etopia Press tomorrow and the cover is awesome--I'll try to post it tomorrow if I get a chance. Blogger and Facebook are two of the sites blocked by the hospital's wifi, so I can't post or read blogs unless I'm at home, and I'm not home much.
I feel unbelievably disconnected from the world and from my online friends. I hope everyone's okay. I read Carrie Harris's awesome new book Bad Taste in Boys the other day, but I wasn't able to post on her blog and congratulate her. I know a lot of you have had triumphs and disappointments in the last three weeks and I wish I'd known so I could celebrate and commiserate with you. Once Mom's home, things will be a little easier, and slowly, gradually, I hope life will return to normal as much as it can.