spigots or caudrens
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Well guys, I'm back. I know you'd like to hear from me every week or even more frequently, but I'm afraid that once a month is going to be about it for a time. I am trying to put every spare moment into A Memory of Light. There aren't too many of those spare moments right now. My meds induce fatigue, so it is hard to keep going. I'll fight it through, though. Don't worry. The book will be finished as soon as I can manage it. NOT in time for this Christmas, I fear. I don't know where that rumor got started. Except that Tom Doherty, my publisher, wants to put out the Prologue if I can have it polished to my satisfaction by August. That isn't easy. I always hate letting go. I have rewritten prologues almost from scratch after I finished the rest of the novel. I always think I can do better with another go around. Oh, well, I'll give it a try.
The news from Mayo is mainly good. My Lambda Light Chain numbers are actually in the normal range for a second consecutive month. Yes! And the lambda/gamma ratio also is in the normal range for a second straight month. Again, yes! That's the good news. The bad news is that Doctor Hayman hasn't changed my prognosis. There hasn't been any improvement in heart function, and while there may be some improvement, it may very well be that what I have is what I will have to live with. That is going strictly by the odds. Which she says if anyone can beat, she thinks it is me. I certainly intend to. Two years just isn't enough to do what I need to do. And even five, which she isn't willing to bet on, isn't enough. Don't talk to me about no stinking odds, gringo. I've got promises to keep. (With apologies to Eli Wallach.) As far as the heart function goes, I had one heart doctor put me on restrictions; no heavier that five pound dumbbells and so forth. That seems to me to just be holding on in place, and I can't afford to do that. I have to fight back. I have to get back to marching for the horizon. So I am ditching the doctor's advice. Very slowly (I don't want to fall over from a heart attack) I will start building with again. I look forward to the day I can tell the Mayo people that I am benching 100-pound dumbbells again. I won't push too hard, but I won't stand still either. I can see the horizon. I want to see what's on the other side.
Now, there is a gathering of Amyloidosis patients and care givers at the Mayo in Rochester in July. Unfortunately, I won't be able to be there, as I would have to turn around a week later and make the trip back to Rochester for my three-month checkup. That is a tiring trip, frankly, and I don't think I can face it twice in the space of ten days.
Here is the contact info:
There are other meetings scheduled. I think the next after Rochester is in Atlanta. You can check at Amyloidosis.com to learn more.
Dr. Gertz is THE guru when it comes to amyloidosis research. He's the man!
For Olivia, my prayers are with you. MS is a hard row to hoe. It sounds like you are hanging tough and giving it a good fight.
For Rion, any convention that wants my attendance should go through my publisher, Tor Books. I have to tell you, though, that at the moment I'm really not up to attending cons, not even cons that are very close to where I live. I hope that maybe by next year that will change. Right now, getting out to a restaurant is a big expedition, and we don't do it very often. I was recently accepted for membership in the Carolina Yacht Club, and took Wilson and Janet to brunch. Sounds like a small thing, but it was enough to exhaust me. So until I manage to regain some strength, cons probably aren't in the cards for me.
For Sumana, thanks for your good wishes and your advice. I have only intermittent pain so far, and I am managing that pretty well. I have some pills if it really gets down to it, but I usually can work it through without the pills.
For Douglas Scott, thanks your prayers. Prayers are always welcome.
For Piercy, I am Episcopalian, though rather High Church. I haven't been up to attending services this last year, but either the rector or one of the deacons comes by to give me communion, so I feel that I'm not missing everything. There was a time I could have made the one block to the Cathedral of St.. Luke for communion, but before he died John Paul II put the kibosh on that. Oh, well.
For Joshua, Charleston is a wonderful place to raise a family. There are very good schools, and also some that are not so good, so you do have to watch that. But you'd need to do that anywhere, and the good ones are VERY good indeed. It is smaller than Denver, maybe half the population or a third, but it has more good restaurants. Not just my opinion. Folks coming down from New York are always astonished at the number and quality of restaurants they find. There is a lively arts scene, ranging from numerous painter-operated galleries to the Spoleto Festival (17 days each year of international ballet, modern dance, opera, plays etc). And there are other, smaller festivals during the year, ranging from ethnic (Greek, German, African etc) to international film festivals. And there is the Maritime Festival, of course, with its tall ships and the start of various ocean races. The Concert Association brings in national and international companies during the rest of the year. The Charleston Ballet Theater is first rate (and building a national reputation), as is the Charleston Symphony Orchestra. I won't try to list the jazz clubs and the like. It is warmer than Denver, and if you want snow sports, you'll have to drive upstate, but we have terrific beaches, abundant golf courses (we get a fair number of PGA and LPGA tournaments) and tennis courses (again, with a good many pro tournaments). They city is older, of course (founded 1670) and there are a great many historic buildings and gardens. There is fishing, offshore or inshore, for everything from redfish and sea trout to blue marlin, sailfish and king mackerel. Well, that's kind of a thumbnail description. I didn't cover everything, of course. Suffice it to say I have found few places in the world where I felt I could live as happily as I do in Charleston, and one reason I don't live in London, Paris or Melbourne is that I would have to leave Charleston.
For Cheyenne, I'm glad I could help out. We always used to say that in my family all of the men were strong and fierce because the women killed and ate the weak ones. True. 'Tis true, you know.
Well, guys, I have to hang it up for now. I'll be back to you when I can, and I promise to keep you abreast of the medical news, whether from Mayo or elsewhere. But my main focus is going to be on A Memory of Light. I think that is how you would want it.
Take care, everybody.