The new book is becoming more of a reality every day. Yesterday I had my standing appointment with my oncologist, who is featured in the book, to find out that he loved the advance copy I'd sent him. He was very excited that I'd taken the initiative to write this, and his enthusiasm about the awareness and attention I'd be garnering for the melanoma community was infectious. I felt vindicated, and relieved. All the work I've done, I thought, it means something.
Today I got through another round of edits. I have to admit, editing this book is the hardest thing in the world. It dredges up memories and images that I try to keep in check most days, but when confronted by them directly I can't hold back the emotional floodgates. It usually takes about five minutes for me to start tearing up.
I find myself saying repeatedly at times, "Jesus Christ, don't do this to yourself!!" But I have to -- I am obligated. And it is my choice. I wrote this for important reasons, and revisiting the pain now and again is something I can deal with, and also something I owe myself. It's vital that I read my own words sometimes, and remember how I felt during the time I faced an uncertain future. It will continue to be a guide moving forward in my life. And I hope it can be a guide to others as well.
I'm in the process of wrangling the last few permissions for quotes and other material used in the book, as well as doing my best to find a traditional contract for the book. I'd like to see it get the widest distribution possible, in order to do the most good. It will also help to secure the funding for future projects I'd like to complete, including a few followup books and a foundation.
I want to thank everyone for their support. It's been quite a ride. But you all have been very helpful, and have been behind me all the way. It's a wonderful feeling to know that what I'm doing means something to others, and that if I really want to, I can help to make the world a little better.
We'll see how it goes. I'll keep you posted.