I’ve been working on my epic fantasy for many years. The mind is a complicated creature as it spins new tales of woe, happiness, anger, love, and disappointment. I remember the day I had surgery on my thyroid. I remember feeling empty and hopeless. I woke up from that six and half hour surgery, gasping for air. They put a drain in my neck. It looked gross and felt gross.

Here I was… writing the rough draft to my third book in the Enforcers. Feeling absolutely helpless and with a drain in my neck. Trying to breathe and I didn’t understand the gravity of my situation. I had my husband prop my laptop on a pile of pillows because I couldn’t move my head. I looked strange to the nurses. I must have looked strange to the nurses. “What is she doing?” And I could hear my characters in my head. “Mom… put the laptop down. Mom… you’re sick! Mom, we can wait for you. Mom, you’re doing too much! Slow down, Mom! We’ll still be here for you!” And I could vision my characters holding me and standing around my hospital bed with a THYCA ribbon on their suits/shirts/and tanks. They loved me then and they still love me now. When I was that close to death and it felt like I was, they were there. My actual family and my fictional family.

I did lose my mind for a while there. All because I lost my voice for weeks. I couldn’t speak because your vocal box is right near your thyroid. I remember feeling so scared. I wasn’t alone but I was scared, I would die and not finish my series. I was scared that I wouldn’t live to see my daughter go to kindergarten. I was scared that another woman would take my place. The shit that runs through your head, when you’re faced with a life and death situation. Who would be there for my actual daughter’s wedding day? Who would see my sons graduate high school? Who would be there for their first heartbreak? Those thoughts permeated my mind and spun around in my head. That was my fear. The fear of not being there for them.

I had five nodules on my thyroid. There was no way to save it. Two of them were actually pushing on my windpipe. I was so tired and drained. Then the word “cancer” was the last thing, I wanted to hear. That six-letter word, scared the fuck out of me. I was ready to fight with everything I had. How ironic that you had suicide attempts and wind up with cancer? The irony of the situation!

I packed on the pounds. Nobody understands what it’s like to go from an hourglass figure to a hefty size. No fucks are given. People don’t want to hear your tale of woe. People don’t understand. I mean, my weight shot the fuck up. It was depressing and it pissed me off. Things I wanted to do, I couldn’t. I couldn’t even sing anymore. I became mad and pissed off. My high soprano went out the door. The gift of singing, vanished into thin air. Not like I wanted to sing professionally anyway.

Now, my voice sounds like a raspy and deep voice. If I talk for a long period of time, my voice goes out. I try not to speak as much as I can. It’s depressing. I can still write songs and write music for my songs. I just can’t sing any of them. It’s really sad. My daughter, on the other hand, her voice sounds like a set of wind chimes, clinking in the wind. Her voice is louder and stronger than mine ever was. When I heard her sing, my mouth dropped. At four-years-old… she has a powerful singing voice. Better than mine ever was. A part of me did feel a little jealous, but I beamed with pride.

When God closed one door, God opens another. It dawned on me that yeah, my voice is almost gone, but my daughter was given my gift. The girl can sing. I’m not saying that because she’s my daughter. Believe me… I know when someone has a voice and who should be singing and who shouldn’t sing. My sons can’t carry a tune in a bucket. That’s not me being mean, it’s me telling the truth. I even secretly taped her, when she didn’t notice. I’ll share it on my Facebook but not YouTube or anywhere else. I’m still that overprotective mommy. No, I won’t take her to Hollywood. They eat children and spit them out. She is her own person. She can do whatever she wants with her life. I’ll still love her unconditionally.

I still battle with bouts of depression. But my daughter emerged like a ray of hope. A hope for a new generation. She was dancing and signing to Lady Gaga. It was so funny. My little creature, who kicked and tumbled inside of my stomach for nine months, also has a love for music. She is gracious and kind. She reminds me of my late grandmother. The one person, I didn’t want to let go. I see my grandmother in my daughter. Spunky, full of spirit, hope, and unconditional love. She always tells the truth. Even when she’s done something bad, my daughter always tells the truth. She says please and thank you. She hugs me, kisses my cheek, and always tells me that she loves me. I hope she holds onto herself. I see a part of my old self inside of her. The good part of me is alive and well. Not just with her, but with my sons too.

For the love of my children, I opted to dig in and fight harder than I’ve ever fought before. I won’t allow my disorders to run my life for me. I won’t allow fear to hold me back. I’m stronger than that and I survived much worse things than to bury myself in a pile of blankets. The worst has already happened. Now it’s time to live, be brave, and be strong. It’s time for me to believe in myself. I’m tougher than this. I’m a good person and I love my real family, and my fictional family.

My mind sorted through a ton of issues. And I learn more about myself through my own books. To always believe and never doubt myself. Through my characters and thoughts, I’m back to being myself. I’m stronger, wiser, and funny. I won’t allow my mental health disorders or my autoimmune diseases to hold me back. It’s time to take back my life. I’m taking it back and there’s nobody to stop me. I won’t let them take my sunshine away from me again. It’s time to kick ass and get those books out. Rocky didn’t give up and why should I? Thanks, Sly Stallone. I will always cherish your series. The world doesn’t owe me anything or any favors. I plan on getting back up and kicking ass. I’m ready to go all thirteen rounds. It isn’t over yet. Not by a long shot.

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