As usual, let me start by thanking those who recently have donated to the Mayo Clinic Hematologic Malignancies Program -- Amyloidosis Research in my name. The latest are Ms Brandie Minchew and Mr. Liam Hemmings. Thanks a million, guys.
This will be short, just to keep the worriers a little less worried about any untoward events.
A note to those sending me fan mail. A return address really helps if you'd like any sort of answer, though I've been reduced to postcards of late because of sheer volume. This holds especially true for people writing from Japan.
My cousin Wilson and his wife Janet came down to spend last weekend with us, and that was great. Wilson and I took a little walk, and I made it almost halfway around the block before I had to stop. A small thing, but a new best, post-chemo. I've also pushed, with my trainer's guidance, the weight lifting to 35-lb dumbbells for the bench press and 75-lbs for lat pull-downs. Not great weights, to be sure, but a lot more than I was able to handle only two weeks ago. I get a little better every day, it seems, and those little bits add up over time. I'm still about 30 pounds lighter than I was on tour last year, but I've started putting weight back on. In muscle, I hope, not fat. But several people have commented that the shoulders, biceps and forearms are noticeably larger than they were three weeks ago, so maybe I'm doing it right. And I'm getting a little work done on AMOL, which is good. Not that any of you care about that.
Tomorrow Harriet and I take off for the Mayo Clinic, where we hope to get confirmation of that "good news, maybe." (See the earlier posting for a fuller explanation.) If they come through for me, I'll be popping the bubbly as soon as we get home. And letting you know, of course. Our return home won't be until next Thursday, possibly later if I get a Corporate Angels flight back, so don't get antsy if I don't post until a week Friday. Until then, wish me luck and keep those prayers coming.
And just to toss in a few answers.
For Emma, I'm not sure what sort of spa hotel you mean, but at this one, the list of possible massages alone runs to half a dozen pages. They also offer a lot of "scrubs," "wraps" and other things that seem more attractive to Harriet than to me. Plus, it's on the beach. Does that sound like what you're thinking about?
For Tony W, the last book of the main story arc, A Memory of Light, won't be the last Wheel of Time novel. True, I want to move on to the Infinity of Heaven books, not to mention some other books, but there are two more prequel novels to come, and maybe a set of three outrigger novels.
Somebody a while back wanted to know whether I had ever received any awards. I was given a Straniak for the Wheel of Time by the Congress of Russian Science Fiction Writers, and some years back my French publisher informed me that I had been nominated for a prize, but at this late date I forget which one. Aside from that, I've never received or been nominated for any other awards.
For Kristin, who wanted to know what sort of fish I fish for, it depends on the time of year and what's biting, really. We can go off-shore and fish for blue marlin, sailfish, king mackerel, dolphin, swordfish, albacore, and several kinds of tuna, including occasionally one of the giant blues, or stay inshore and go after tarpon, redfish, jack crevalle, or sea trout (weakfish, technically, not steelhead) and if nothing else is biting, ladyfish, which is called the poor man's tarpon. They are fairly small -- I think the world record is around five pounds -- but they make spectacular leaps and runs and are very good sport on ultralight tackle. There are many other inshore fish, of course, ranging from croaker to hammerheads, but I don't fish for them, just as I don't fish for barracuda. They're something you catch by accident.
An old one, for Perrab, I believe. No, the pipe smoking had nothing to with the amyloidosis. So far this year I've had four chest X-rays and two helical CAT scans of my chest. I understand that the Mayo is in talks with Switzerland about licensing them my film as an ad for the clean air of the Alps. I hope the rumors are false, because that would be wrong. Besides, I should get a cut.
Well, that's enough of that.
Take care, guys. Talk to you soon.