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Family Health and Ongoing Hiatus

I’m back home for the first time in a while, and I’ve been given permission to talk more about what’s going on. Last month, my wife Amy was diagnosed with cancer — an aggressive form of lymphoma, to be specific.

Aggressive, but treatable. We’ve done the first round of chemo, and the last scans showed some tumor shrinkage, which is a good sign.

This all started with a flare-up of lower back pain. Unfortunately, Amy has chronic back pain, and we’ve had flare-ups before. So the initial doctor visits just led to more painkillers and rest. It wasn’t until I took her to the Emergency Room last month that they discovered what was going on. By then we were dealing with a blast crisis (proliferation of immature white blood cells), dehydration, some organ failures…

I can safely say that was the worst week of my life.

I’m happy to say they were able to treat the immediate health crisis. The messed-up white blood cells have been cleared out, organ function is back to normal, dehydration and malnutrition have been addressed. We’re onto focusing on the long-term treatment plan now.

There’s no prognosis or percentages here. You can find survival rates for her particular type of cancer, but she’s significantly younger than the average patient. And five-year rates are based on patients who were diagnosed at least five years ago — we have five more years of research and advances now.

She’ll still be in the hospital for a while. She’s awfully weak after everything she’s been through. She’s not quite up for visitors yet, but she’s getting closer. I’ll be heading back tonight or tomorrow. I’ll still be mostly offline, and I haven’t written a word of fiction in more than a month, which is likely to continue.

To any of our friends or family who are hearing this for the first time, I’m so sorry. We’ve tried to update people, but Amy has so many people who love her, and my brain has not been at its best. Please feel free to text or email me.

My family has been holding up okay. Everyone has come together to offer support and help out, and I’m so grateful. The kids have been amazing, each in their own way. It’s hard, and that’s going to continue for a while, but we’re all doing our best to take care of each other as well as taking care of Amy.

She’s had really good care. We’re making sure that continues. So far, the insurance side of things has gone pretty smoothly. I’m not holding my breath for that to always be the case, but I’ll deal with that when and if it goes sideways. I’ve also taken care of things like her FMLA leave from work, and applying for short-term disability. The main priority right now is helping her keep getting better.

Oh, and I know the photos might be a bit odd — what can I say. Taking pictures is one of the ways I cope with the stress. Even with a relatively old iPhone camera.

I’m not up for answering a lot of questions online/publicly, since it’s not about me. And we’re not currently looking for advice. But your love and support and encouragement are always appreciated. Thank you.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

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( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
mme_n_b
Jan. 7th, 2019 05:42 pm (UTC)
Good luck.
deborahblakehps
Jan. 7th, 2019 05:47 pm (UTC)
Cancer is a evil bitch. I hope things continue to go well, or as well as possible. Best wishes and all good thoughts to you and your wife.

I have back pain all the time. I often worry that I might miss something crucial because I am so accustomed to feeling horrid. I'm glad they finally caught this one!
lillian13
Jan. 7th, 2019 08:18 pm (UTC)
Dang it.
About all I can do is send funny cards. If you feel comfortable in doing so, can you point me at an address?
jimhines
Jan. 8th, 2019 03:12 am (UTC)
That's very kind, thank you. Probably the best address to use would be:

P.O. Box 521
Holt, MI 48842
sartorias
Jan. 7th, 2019 08:19 pm (UTC)
Wishing Amy and the rest of the family healing, strength, and always laughter and love.
nick_kaufmann
Jan. 7th, 2019 10:24 pm (UTC)
My thoughts are with you and Amy during this difficult time.
marielaf
Jan. 8th, 2019 02:21 pm (UTC)
Wishing you both strength, peace, and healing.
slb44
Jan. 8th, 2019 04:35 pm (UTC)
Sending all the love and support I can muster.
hindustar
Jan. 8th, 2019 08:57 pm (UTC)
Wishing you all the best!
phantasm13
Jan. 10th, 2019 04:55 pm (UTC)
*hugs* sending Love and Light to you and your family.
sunlit_music
Jan. 10th, 2019 11:53 pm (UTC)
Cancer is an absolute bastard, pardon my language. I’ve lost relatives, dear friends and colleagues to cancer and I don’t blame you for going offline to care for your wife.
I’m so sorry to hear your wife Amy has aggressive lymphoma cancer.❤️ You are doing a great job caring for her. I’m glad Amy’s cancer is treatable and I hope that cancer treatment will go well and that she’ll live. I’m thinking of you and your family.

I’m really glad Amy’s care is going smoothly and that her health insurance is holding up so far. I’m sending you and your family positive wishes and hoping you and your family can still have lots of love and sweet moments despite all the grief and pain.

Edited at 2019-01-10 11:56 pm (UTC)
kk1raven
Jan. 22nd, 2019 03:25 am (UTC)
I hope things go as well as they can for Amy. I'll keep you both in my thoughts.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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