My friends, I am so sad to say: life has thrown a mighty curveball. Since returning home from the first leg of the book tour last Monday, a CT-Scan has revealed that my left ovary has sprouted a massive (22×11 cm) growth that will be removed tomorrow in a 3-4 hour surgery starting at 8:30 am. They will conduct pathology while I’m still on the table to determine the next course of action.
With recovery expected to take at least six weeks, I must cancel all of my book events for October, including: St. Lawrence University, Syracuse University, the Fall for the Book Festival in Virginia, the Southern Festival of Books in Tennessee, and—to my profound regret—the Mohawk Nation of Akwesasne.
As you can imagine, this is evoking a rush of emotions, not least of which is disappointment to be spending my sabbatical in a hospital rather than on a book tour. But I want you all to know that, regardless of outcome, my far overriding emotion is gratitude. Gratitude that I have been able to reconnect with so many of you in such meaningful ways in the past months/years/life. Gratitude that All the Agents and Saints–the creative endeavor that is the summation of my abilities and a decade worth of effort–is finally out in the world. Grateful that I have the insurance/resources to finance this exorbitant medical procedure, and an incredible support team.
Gratitude that, my entire life, I have imagined myself to be running just a few paces ahead of a charging black mortality hole, and that this sensation has propelled me to write and travel as intensely as possible, to give myself entirely to the people and the projects I love, while I could still see firm ground ahead. This all goes to say that, no matter what happens, it is okay. I am crazy privileged/lucky to have done exactly what I hoped/dreamed of with the time I have had here. If I am crazy privileged/lucky enough to be granted more time, it will be cherries on top.
I know that our collective empathy pool is running dry with all the tragedy/uncertainty in the world right now. But if you have a moment to spare, I would so appreciate if, tomorrow morning, you might send a little chant my way:
“Benign, benign, benign. Contained, contained, contained.”
Much love to you all, and see you on the other side.