Saturday, February 1, 2014

Who's a writer?

Yesterday was my son's 17th birthday.  There have been many, many times over the past four years that I didn't think I'd live to see this birthday, and times when I was right, when I was close to death - yet here I am, and not only that, feeling fantastic.  We were able to give my son a wonderful afternoon and then go out to dinner and surprise him with a nice present.  The best gift was my sister, who lives 600 miles away, came to visit and was able to go to dinner with us.  It was a very nice day.

Of course, no matter how busy you are, if you are me, you check your email/facebook/twitter.  And, mine contained something special, something just for me.

Healthline, apparently sick of me winning their best blog contest and taking their money for free, had asked me to write a (paid) test article for them - if I managed to write it effectively, they would hire me.  The subject was about Triple Negative Breast Cancer and the Five Year Recurrence Rate.  They have slideshows on their site and I was writing one of those, so I had to break up the topic into pieces with certain requirements about readability and citations.  Despite my busy week, with several doctors appointments and a birthday, I managed to turn it in on time.  I was quite nervous about it but I needn't have been:  when I checked my email on my son's birthday I got a glowing review.  In fact, they said they often have to send some back for corrections but not mine.  "You nailed it" was the comment.

You can imagine that made me feel good.  So now, I will be a regular contributing writer to Healthline.  I don't know how "regular" it will be or how much work they will have for me but even a little bit will help me son with school - buy him coffee, a textbook, some pencils - or perhaps I'll even buy some scrapbook stuff for myself.  I now need Heritage papers to redo my mother's photo albums; my sister brought them over and they are in those awful magnetic ones that ruin photos.  She had a lot of family history in them, surprisiingly, so they need to be treated with respect.

So here I am.  Six months ago getting out of bed was a chore and a matter of will.  Today I have an employer.  Breast cancer is a funny disease - you never know how things will turn around.   Will it last forever?  No.  But for now, it's good.