This is one of those bad news but not the worst news posts, which is to say that I've been diagnosed with early stage breast cancer and am in the process of scheduling surgery and radiation for it.
This means that The Folded Sky will probably be a little delayed, because at least two months of my life are going to vanish in a puff of waiting rooms and lasers. The good news on that front is that I'm working on the copy edits for The Origin of Storms right now and those should be handed back very soon. And I think I'll get the short story I'm working on finished by deadline, too.
Also, if anybody wants to buy a couple of memberships for WFC, we're, uh, not gonna make it.
Don't fret about me too much: I've got a great care team and a great group of local family and friends, and the odds are in my favor. The survival rate for early detected breast cancer is 99% these days.
I expect to be crushingly bored and annoyed and somewhat terrified for three months or so, and then suffer through biannual mammograms for the rest of my life, however long that is.
Also this biopsy bruise is a real doozy.
If you want to show solidarity, a simple "Fuck Cancer" will suffice. Right now I don't need anything, and I probably won't until the radiation starts and the fatigue sets in. If I do I promise I will yell really loud.
The thing I want to emphasize here is that I am 49 years old, I have no family history of breast cancer, nor do I have any of the marker genes for increased risk. I don't smoke, I'm a light-to-moderate drinker, I exercise regularly, and I eat my vegetables and mostly avoid red meat and processed food.
As far as risk factors go: I'm overweight and have never nursed a child, and I have childhood trauma, which can have epigenetic consequences.
All of which is to say, please, please go get your regular cancer screenings as suggested by the usual recommended schedule. I know it's a pain in the ass but it might save your life.
I'm going to post occasional updates mirrored both on my Patreon and at my newsletter (at the free level) and on Dreamwidth (and probably different content on instagram and Twitter) if anybody wants to follow along. I'm matociquala in all of those places and there are links at elizabethbear.com to most of them.
If you prefer to avoid that content, which shouldn't be too graphic, I'll try to make sure future installments are clearly marked in the header.
Also, I have cancer, which means that I get to say whatever the hell I want, and what I want to say is this: I really, really appreciate you all.