small programming note
I have cancer???
Hi! Bet you’ve been wondering what I’ve been up to!
WELL. I was just starting to recover from a very long depressive episode when I was diagnosed with cancer last week.1 (It is a small amount of cancer, “just a LITTLE can-suh,” as they say, and very treatable.2) There are still many weird things I would like to try here, but it may require a little more hanging in on your part.
I find, unsurprisingly, that I have a lot to say about having cancer. LUCKILY for me, my writing group and I have been doing a daily accountability thread where we all just respond when we’ve written for 15 minutes. I’m also planning to join Jami Attenberg’s Mini 1000, which starts on Monday.
I hope your 2022 is going okay! A couple of months ago I got a Co-Star notification that said You forget all the times you’ve been lucky, and that’s true. I think about that a lot.
See you soon(ish).
I have been surprised and touched by how many people have asked if they can help. I will let you know when I have more information about my treatment plan. If you want to help me pay some bills while I can’t work, Venmo is jacqui-shine-1 & my email for PayPal is email@example.com. You could also switch to a paid subscription on this very newsletter if you wanted, too!
People like to know these things, so: it’s DCIS, “Stage 0” breast cancer. My mom had breast cancer when she was 44 and my half-sister had it when she was 51, so I started getting screening mammograms at 33. An irregularity this year led to another mammogram and an ultrasound and then a biopsy. I am not positive for BRCA1 or BRCA2, but I am Jewish, under 40, and haven’t had children, so I am a good candidate for a bilateral mastectomy. (Here are a couple of essays about DCIs and BRCA from Taylor Harris, whose new book is This Boy We Made, and from Jenny Rose Ryan.)