With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, I’ve been thinking about a lot of things lately. Probably not the things you think I’m thinking about. Not love or hearts or flowers. I’m thinking about brain lesions. And hands that won’t work properly. And the tingling and weird pain that runs down my legs and arms. On Valentine’s Day 2014, I was thinking about all that then, too, and a lot more.
That was the day I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.
If you’ve been with me for a while, then you know that I’ve had health issues for a minute. I told you guys about the tumor on my pituitary, about my Trigeminal Neuralgia, a broken neck from years ago. You know that I’ve had sucky things. I didn’t tell you about the MS for many reasons, the most important because I think I was still in denial. The less people knew, the less real it was. The more I could pretend that I was still “normal” and do whatever I wanted. My author group at the time was a Godsend through this, but even they didn’t know everything that was going on with my health. And I’ve come to learn that MS doesn’t care if people know or not :) I kept having exacerbations and started running out of excuses.
My name is Shelly and I have Multiple Sclerosis. And it sucks. And it’s scary to think about the future. And it’s not fair to my family. And there are days when I just. Can’t. Even. Anything. And it’s painful and frustrating and freaking inconvenient. I’m a wife, a mom to two teenage boys, a writer who uses her hands for her job, and a thousand other things. I don’t have time to have MS! :) Why can’t my body understand this and get it together.
We travel with my husband’s job and move around a lot, at least four or five times a year. We sold our house in Florida last year so we could travel full-time and it has been a-maz-ing. We’re in Montana at the moment and hope to stay for a long time. We LOVE it here. Just moved from Pennsylvania and before that was Maryland. Florida was brutally hot and I was pretty miserable there. Moving has helped with my MS a little, I think. When we lived in Florida full-time, I was having more exacerbations than I was not having them.
I had to cancel so many book signings and events, and missed release dates, because of MS. It’s hard for me to plan anything. I wake up and that’s how I know how I’ll feel. I felt so awful for letting people down and not keeping my promises. So, I had to stop making them. For my own sanity and dignity. I know you guys hate that I don’t do release dates anymore, and I’m sorry, I get it, but it’s just not in the cards for me any longer. I know myself, I know my symptoms, I know my family and our schedule, and sometimes writing is absolutely impossible. Just typing that sentence makes me sad. But I wanted you to know, I’m not NOT writing. :) Since we should be here in Montana for a while, I’m going to try to get myself on a more set writing schedule and make sure to let you know what’s going on. I still think about my characters every day and write down notes for later. I’m constantly thinking about them and their stories, so that was never the problem. But Trouble says something in Undeniably Fated that fits with me pretty perfectly. Sometimes our will is stronger than our might. I am working, slowly, but I’m working and I PROMISE these books (the books listed on my website that you’re waiting on) are coming. I PROMISE. I PROMISE.
Will you have Undeniably Fated tomorrow. No. Will you have it next month. Absolutely not. Will it have it by the end of the year? I will try my hardest, but this is NOT a release date. I do have to have surgery on my neck in the next couple months, non-MS related, so there’s that, too.
So, that’s where I’ve been and where I’m at. Every day is its own struggle of some kind, but I’m chugging along. And most days, I’m okay. The main point of all this is to reassure you that books are coming! I may take a little hiatus here or there, but when I’m able, I’ll come back and get to it. I just hope you’ll stick with me, guys. I know it’s not ideal, but we’ll make it work! :)
I adore you all as much as I did the first time someone picked up my book. I know that reading time is precious and I appreciate that you took the time on me, each time. I’m sorry that you can’t get your story the way you should, but you’ll get it. I promise. Thanks for always, always, always being awesome, always being there, always being ready and willing to dive into your next story. I’d love the honor. One day soon. :)
Best wishes and happy endings,