what not to say when someone you know has a book deal.

darlings

*looksquicklytocamera4withashysmile*

s o me b o d y  h a s   s  e  e n   i t

*gasps*

and we just Happened to have called them (such are the mysterious and delicious ways of Serendipity) and they whispered that they had a copy on their desk.

(they were near the Warehouse when the Shipment came in, ready to be sent, in large boxes we hope – apart from the kindle editions which will go wrapped in virtual-tissue-paper-with-japanese-sequins we are convinced)

and this is what they said.

“it’s really beautiful.”

did you hear that?

*sighs_prettily*

we were meant to be a grown-up at that point in the Telephone call but we had to pause as If we were thinking about something Useful for a future Point to be Made but actually we had to put a hand over the receiver (yes, it was the Princess Phone) and make sure our tears did not tumble over eyelashes and onto the laptop.

“it’s really beautiful.”

wow.

so it’s Real.

it now exists.

it has been an idea, a manuscript, a annotated mock-up, a pitch copy, a word doc with different iterations of edit notes from our Publisher in Manhattan (such a lovely phrase) and a package-to-be-sold (elegantly) by our Agent and now, well, now, it’s Real.

which means we are Almost an Author.

and there have been various reactions to this imminent event.

some of which have pleased us GREATLY (the delicious responses to articles that were written to promote, the kind previews from people who had access to Netgalley – quelle moderne)

and others?

*bites_lip*

hmmm.

well.

those have made us cross.

but (said Very Brightly) all is not lost.

because we can Write about it Here.

let’s go back a tiny bit.

remember this post?

it’s one of our Most popular (and shared widely on the “social graph” as the MBAs opine which just means “a lot of people liked it and sent the link to their nice friends via tweets, facebook wall-thingies and old-fashioned-but-still-very-effective-Email and also through Google+ – especially if they live in Berlin or San Francisco and perhaps even an emoticon-over-the-top dashed off Instant Message or two – it has happened)

so we thought we’d do a Follow-Up and see if this amuses/helps too.

What Not To Say When Someone You Know Has A Book Deal (our answers interspersed so when this happens to you, you’ll have a riposte or two)

1. oh! really? (confused slightly angry pained stomach look) – I had no idea you wrote.

[this means, “I write. You were a Suit.”]

2. oh! really? how did YOU get a book deal?

[depending on the time you want to spend with this person, you could do the short version: “I wrote one.” or the longer exposition: “I blogged everyday, had a story to tell, took all the photographs, went through the surgery, and medical leave, kept writing, mocked up a book using blurb.com, sent out MANY letters to agents, had lunch, took people to lunch, was taken to lunch, accepted all introductions humbly and showed up with hair brushed and chapstick applied, sent thank you notes,  finished it, polished it, started a blog to promote it, found an audience, had it nicely typed with double spacing and a cover letter with marketing materials and plot lines and prospective audience segments and competitive set and requisite sales figures of similar books, kept writing, got signed by an agent, did ALL the revisions she suggested without complaining, kept writing, more revisions, let my agent do her job and didn’t pester her during the sales process, squealed on the street in manhattan when she left a darling message saying I had a book deal, sent her white roses to say thank you, met with the Publisher again, did LOTS of revisions, took more photographs as requested, more revisions and fact checking, kept writing, was patient, sent out 500 – yes – 500 – personal notes to people on a postcard with a cover of the book to ask them if they’d like to see a press copy or just to say thank you to them for inspiring me – including ALL Librarians who have helped us to a great education, kept writing, did more revisions, final fact checking, showed up whenever asked for press meetings, wrote articles to promote the book, didn’t complain, ever, kept writing, more thank you notes – that’s it, basically, that’s how we did it. Any questions?”]

3. will it be available in the shops?

[translation: did you really find a Real Publisher who ships to actual stores?]

4. when is it coming out? (we liked this one particularly when they professed to have enjoyed our 60 second promo video which clearly states the launch date but at the end so perhaps they never got that far)

[as much as we were DYING to bust them on not having watched the promo, we didn’t. “Feb 18th” was our only answer and “Yes, very excited.” *sighs*]

5. I have a manuscript. Well, not really a manuscript. I mean it’s not Finished. But I’ve sketched out a few ideas for a chapter or two. Just the final chapter really. I mean I know how it ends but not, you know, the Actual story………………..would you read it/send it to your agent/edit it for free?

[I’m not a literary agent. Or a publisher. And definitely not an Editor. So – When you’ve finished it, polished it, started a blog to promote it, found an audience, have it nicely typed with double spacing and a cover letter with marketing materials and plot lines and prospective audience segments and competitive set and requisite sales figures of similar books – sure, I’ll ask my agent if she wants to read it.]

6. I thought you had a proper job.

[translation: I’d love to leave my job but I’m terrified. How dare you do it and prove it’s possible.]

7. Bet you miss that salary in Manhattan. It’s not like anyone can actually make a living from writing anymore.

[actually we are.]

8. Oh. Yeah, I heard that you had a book or something. Send us a copy.

[translation: I’m not going to spend money buying your book. I’m far too important.]

9. But you’re still consulting, right? Just to be safe?

[translation: I hate my job. I hate that you love your life. How dare you.]

10. are you still writing that little blog? you did seem to enjoy writing it.

[no response. d e l e t e.]

11. Oh. is it only in American? I suppose it won’t get translated into other languages unless it really is something that sells extremely well.

[no response. but last time we checked the American domestic market with international sales was pretty healthy.]

Oh that felt SO GOOD!

wish we’d been honest years ago.

but there again we might not have needed a 5 and a half hour surgery to remove tumo(u)rs from our throat if we had been, like, Totally Honest all these years.

in other news.

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while we wait for a preview copy of our own book *blush*, we sit in wonderment with Ms. Janet Flanner who makes for Extremely Entertaining company. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

we read her very early in the morning before we start our day. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

also reading the Tales of another extraordinarily Adventurous writer. more on Annemarie Schwarzenbach soon’ish. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

there’s something so delicious looking at our own bookshelves, modest as they are, and imagining how excited our own book will be to nestle between Noel and Truman and Sybille…….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

or possible Plum Wodehouse and Cecil and Miss N. Mitford…..OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

or Vita Sackville-West and Madame Spanier….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

talking of PARIS (which we always are when we mention Madame Spanier), we’ve been trying to Track people that we used to know whom we spent time with in Paris but to no avail, as yet.

we can hear their voice as a clear as a bell when somehow, someone tells them, that who-we-are-in-RL has a Book coming Out.

OH SOPHS!!

much twinkling will ensue.

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and we think of our adventures that have taken us to other Continents and worlds beyond our knowledge thanks to that fancy job in Manhattan (and our own strangely compelling personality that Likes to Explore and Ask Lots of Questions). OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

a question we’ve been getting lately is: “are you having a book launch?”

and the answer is No.

for several reasons:

1. book launches are from the days before the Interweb when you needed a “Splash” in the Papers from all the book reviewers lurking in the dark corners of your Party with the cheap plonk and dodgy appetizers.

2. book launches are for photographs (and you know we’re not Awfully keen on being photographed).

3. book launches are where people might make comments (see above 1 – 10) and they’re Impossible to d e l e t e or movetospam/trash, unlike online *ironiceyebrowtocamera2*OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

we take a little time to admire our prior personality with the much-longer-name which used to appear in magazines in the *gulps* mid-90s (this is the cover story of Punch if you were peering closely and wondered).
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and we’ve met many a shy talented person to interview them in our former life (this is the wonderful Mr. David Sims)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and then there’s You.

which is why we have a book at all.

because if we hadn’t stayed here – especially with our Throat bound post-surgery when we could-not-talk – and Told You what it was like to go through it all and come out the other side – we might have Put it Behind Us (which it what an Awful lot of people told us to do) and then, well, then, we’d never have had the confidence to keep going and Write a Book. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

so we’ll keep writing.

because you are here.

and we can have a launch party of our very own.

*winningsmiletocamera1*

thank you for listening.

 

(almost) Two Years On.

darlings

you know it’s been Nearly Two Years Ago since you-know-what-happened

hospitalbedwe took this picture as we walked very slowly out of the hospital room with BF helping us into his car – because we sort of wanted to remember what had just happened.

it’s Odd (many things are but this is odd in particular) – that we never named our thyroid.

we named the three tumo(u)rs: Tobias and his Sisters in case you’ve just joined us.

and we fretted about them a lot because they were said to have C powers (you can guess what that is) which is why we had to have an operation (and also because Tobias – the larger one – was pushing up against our main artery and if he had pushed a bit further – well – our head would have exploded – that’s a bit Dramatic – but apparently not far from the Truth).

in the end Tobias and his sisters didn’t have C powers.

which means that every time we tell the story (and we tell it less and less these days but we Assume we’ll be saying it more and more round about the time This comes Out and we talk to Lady Reporters and Gentlemen of the Fourth Estate – and we don’t mean that misguided one just outside Milton Keynes) and we get to the bit where we didn’t have C powers the face of the one listening sort of changes.

it’s imperceptible at first, but it’s the same face after a while so we got used to it – it goes from sad-loving-big-eye-look to slightly glazed over and they always follow it with a crisp, “But you’re allrightnow, yes?”

and as the conversation is clearly Over and we really ought to get back to discussing the weather/books/technology (depending on the country/virtual or otherwise they come from – we can happily do all three) we don’t get to say what we’d like (obviously we’re saying it Here so bless you for reading thus far):

how well do You think you’d function without Your thyroid and para-thyroid glands?

it’s sort of Rhetorical.

because until one Has (and know just a few people who Do) – it’s impossible to describe.

so we’re not even going to try.

at best, one feels a Tiny bit Cyborg (which we like) – having an essential organ replaced with (in our case chopped up bits from an animal’s organ) a daily pill that marches around our body and checks that the pituitary gland, hormones, metabolism and general-emotional-state is ticking over (sometimes it does the job Well – other times we’re reduced to the boudoir to wait for the endocrine storm to pass.)

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books are Very helpful while waiting for the storm to settle in our body. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

especially when they are Very Deep in Thought themselves.

and then there’s the permanent scar.

which has definitely lessened over Time from caught-in-a-serrated-knife-fight-in-moscow to a “oh, i can barely see it!” (this is our Least favo(u)rite response btw, as the young people say) – we like what Tina said:

“Oh, I rather Like It”

scar

so the other day, who-we-are-in-RL, was doing an Interview (she was the member of the Fourth Estate on this occasion) and instead of being allowed to call the Interview Subjects on the Princess Phone (much preferred – then one can wear a robe and no mascara and sort of look into space a lot while thinking), she was told she had to do it using Google Hangouts (this happens to be a Deeply Interesting Technology Piece which we will share with you in October when it comes out – as long as you can read Spanish, for it shall be Translated thus).

we like to be helpful.

so we re-arranged the furniture so we had a good Background for the “Google Hangout” video call and tried to Imagine that we were playing the part of Floyd in 2001: a space odyssey  placing his “video call”

13_dialling-numberand then people from all over the world (well, four people, two countries, three cities which is still Deeply impressive) logged in and who-we-are-in-RL started Asking the Interesting Questions while we arranged the pencils and made sure anything not Serious was kept Out of Shot.

while she was Doing the Interview, we took a screengrab from the Google Hangout to check that the background of pictures/articles-in-frames and inspirations looked nice.

which it did.

sophsgooglehangout090613

we think she looked rather sweet-serious actually (we suggested the blue shirt – it was sort of Androgynous and Tech-savvy with the glasses).

but it was only after that we looked at the dark shadow on the neck and thought, “Oh, right, the Scar.”hospitalbed

but all that’s behind us now (or at least left on a petri-dish-in-some-lab).

we must get ready and apply the mascara.

for we have been Invited To Tea over at George’s rooms (that’s what they used to say in Brideshead and George has as many books as Rooms in an Oxford College so feels appropriate somehow, plus he has a lovely set of Spode)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAit might seem strange to bring books to someone who has Lots but those are Exactly the sort of people who appreciate them.

here’s what We are reading now.

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and if we get a chance tomorrow, we’ll tell you about Quintessence, the Fifth Element (not to be confused with that lovely Sci-Fi movie starring Mr. Willis).

so.

two. years. on.

and (you know) still here (but bits of us are still missing).

a year ago today: Tumor removal and a lot of Tea to follow.

oh darlings.

has it been a whole YEAR?

since we had our throat slit and tobias-and-his-sisters were removed?

gosh.

we recall the 4AM wake-up call and standing outside in the dark shivering from fear and seeing the cheery presence of Cheltenham-Lady walking down the street as if she had just gone to the second-hand bookshop in Norfolk and found a delicious first edition and wanted to show us – she was brilliant – we tried to talk in the Taxi and stay bright and not fall apart and she kept us going – right to the bit at the hospital when they were going to check us in and we’d not known about American things like having-someone-as-an-emergency contact (we have one now) or someone who could make decisions should something awful happen (um, still working on that one) so that was all a bit scary.

the robe was nice – sort of lavender with Very Clever sensors and electrical circuits clipped to our vital organs and a heat pad to keep us warm while they Took Us Down (where exactly is that?)

william had sent us a 1970s Ladybird (yes, that English children’s classic line) book to explain what might Happen.

it wasn’t Exactly like that (the scrubs were blue as we recall, and the operating Theatre – love that they call it that – was a Very High Tech “space” full of flashing lights and whirring noises and Many People) but it did help to be a bit prepared.

actually, to be Completely Honest for a second, nothing could have prepared us.

and maybe that’s for the Best.

here is our hospital bed that we lay in for a day or so.

usually we make-the-bed but we didn’t have the strength and besides – if you can picture this – it was right before we got Discharged (and had to have a Strong conversation with the Very Young resident – in mime and pencil-on-paper – because we could not speak due to the operation which got Awfully Close to our vocal chords and the Very Tight bandages around our neck) and we were standing holding the tubes still linking us to the drip (on a Not Attractive silver wheel-y pedestal) holding our (forbidden) smartphone device to take a picture.

oh!

we almost forgot we had this one – yes, these are the pumps on the legs that keep one’s blood flowing during HOURS of lying and the oxygen tube stuck up one’s nostrils (not nice) and the drip (saline by this point we believe as our brain had come back nicely – or not-so-nicely – more Dear gods What Just Happened??) in our arm.

why thank you – yes – that was a nice light tan on the left knee (not just on the left knee, but obviously that’s all that’s showing here) – we’d just been in L.A – Quite Freaked out the week or so before.

mC came the next day to visit with a lukewarm milky beverage and a copy of the FT Weekend (we weren’t working, promise, we just like the magazine and the lunch-with-column and the interview with writers about why-they-write)

then Bf came to get us in his Car (we were very grateful and gosh Manhattan was a shock after the relative solitude of a hospital room) and stayed and made us laugh inside our OUCH bandages and brought his dog who comforted us with her Huge Eyes. sob.

and then what happened….

well – we stayed at home for almost a month.

lovely people who lived not-too-far-away came to visit.

So Many Lovely people sent flowers.

and we spent Many Hours lying on the sofa looking at them..

listening to Lots of mix-tapes that delicious people sent to us – for every mood and hour and feeling (dear gods, there were Lots of Feelings during this medical leave)

and Many splendid people sent books and parcels and we started to unwind our poor stressed head for the first time in what felt like a decade.

we spent HOURS in bed – sleeplessness being a Distinct Feature of medical leave #sigh

thank goodness for excellent cotton sheets, silk dressing gowns and Pots of Tea on a Tray.

we had never spent so much time in the bathroom (nausea – we won’t go into this in any detail whatsoever but it was horrid)

and here we are – a year on – with a scar on the neck.

we were Most Grateful to T who peered at it and said (in her sparkly Fashion/British voice)

I rather like it.

the pearls help.

final day of medical leave: 21 days later: so many feelings, no more time.

hmmm. this is a hard one to write.

our last day of medical leave.

we have mixed feelings, to be honest.

a sense of relief (no cancer). a new perspective (god, we have Great Friends). well-rested (not a lot else to do even if lots of the sleep happened during the day and we watched movies and read during the small cruel hours of sleeplessness). well-read (see previous point – the small hours are good with a hot tea and a pair of glasses perched on our nose while snuggled under the covers against Tons of Nice Pillows).

we are also aware that Everything Must Change.

not sure how that will happen.

but we’re ready for it, whatever It Is.

and we have some ideas – including a book and a “kindness kit” business and lots of other hopefully brilliant “gosh where did they come from?!” concepts and the movie screenplay about Holly Hart and her tumors/tumours – hell, yeah, of Course we’re going to fictionalize this Whole Experience – and we’re geared up to write a second movie starring Gloria (see here for more about that)

here’s where it all started…….after the initial “lumps” found back in April 2011, and then the ultrasounds and biopsies and then the Hideous Line: “WE FOUND A MASS AND NEED TO OPERATE” (yeah, it felt like shouting)

Posted on June 17, 2011 by teamgloria

so team gloria has a date for the surgery –

september 9th –

and the rather hideous diagnosis of:

“thirty percent chance of cancer”

and – shocking –

we have three tumors/tumours, not just tobias.

this isn’t the realm of the unwell – it’s a veritable breeding machine inside our throat.

(the rest of this post is here)

and ever since then, we’ve been through So many Feelings (btw, we just deleted a whole bunch of spam in the comments and got Very Cross with one – that may have been an auto-generated-response-bot – that said we were WHINING. huh? our response was unprintable. and thankfully un-typed. isn’t Hitting the Delete Button a blessing, darlings?)

for any reason, if you’ve just joined us (perhaps from Instagram? hello! we Adore Instagram) and wonder what the hell all this talk is about it starts here:

and now we attempt to return to the Day Job. (ahem, no, they don’t know we call it that ;-) #giggle

let’s see what happens next. when this blog returns to documenting our search for glorious people, places and things once more (and our La Vie Jet-Set).

so here are a few pictures from our last blessed day of healing from all-that-has-happened-so-far.

final look at the view from where we take our fake thyroid hormone pills and then the calcium a bit later and have to steady ourselves for the nausea.

we met jT for tea at 10AM (before we had our hair cut to look presentable for Corporate America tomorrow) and he was wearing a magical god from the Incas. it spoke to us so we asked if we could take a picture (we asked jT, not the Inca god).

we then (post haircut) took a walk to meet Jonathan and talk a while and rest at ground support (we wish they had a web site because we’d link to them then but if you’re in the neighborhood/area/locale they’re on west broadway just south of spring).

then Jonathan’s phone rang and his AGENT CALLED (we love these kind of moments) and HE JUST GOT A NEW ROLE ON A TELEVISION SERIES! (isn’t that fabulous). despite his great excitement we persuaded him to pose for an anonymous style shot of the actor, resting, who has just marked down his start date for shooting – he was Very Kind and did this (see below).

we then spent a little while resting (as we Have Been through Surgery just under three weeks ago and our strength is not yet returned) and, after his Day at the Office had ended, the lovely jW (of the CT jW1/jW2) dropped by and we had a brainstorm and a nice pot of tea and a walk (we are getting Lots of Exercise) and then we split some rather nice cheese from a local creamery (so chic and supporting local businesses as we have been doing for the entire medical leave as we couldn’t go anywhere).

and so – tomorrow – back to work. and a New Chapter.

(talking of new chapters – William sent us a final medical leave gift – too kind! of Roy Strong’s delicious book about England – chapter 1 is entitled “Gloriana” – we are Tickled Pink – and will be reading it tonight.)

 

 

medical leave day 20: how are we? what are our options?

so how are you?

we don’t really know…………………..

however we are aware of the acceptable options: particularly on day 20 of medical leave.

the appropriate responses are as follows:

a. Much Better Thank You

b. Getting There

c. Still pretty weak (“but relieved because they were benign??” as if that’s the only acceptable feeling now. Um, no. There’s no room for relief when one feels weak. One just feels weak, love).

d. Not Sleeping (furrowed brows greet this one “aren’t you Over It Now?” Er, clearly not. We apparently contributed to this concept of Perfection prior to the surgery and hospital stay. Well, that’s out the window now. What a bloody relief)

No.

we’re not. We are not Over it.

It’s been over two weeks, yes, since our throat was slit open, our glands removed, vocal chords smushed and sore and thus no voice, thyroid taken out, 3 – THREE – tumours/tumors/Tobias and his Sisters cut out and sent to the LAB and we’ve been popping the 21 calcium pills (now down to 4 a day) and adjusting to life where one opens a plastic (shudder) bottle (“on an empty stomach” which is hard when one fancies a little morsel of aged cheddar while the coffee is brewing) and takes a hormone which mimics the thyroid function For The Rest of Our Life…………we digress

we don’t know how we feel.

It’s been overwhelming as an experience.

Nor are we particularly interested in soothing the feelings of others (yes, That, darlings, is New). Or putting up with other people’s drama. (No energy and actually zero interest. Make a plan and stick to it. It’s so much nicer.)

we went out this morning with the lovely GB who is in town and got some air, some sunshine and saw friends and there was a shared autumnal (delicious) salad and a roasted veggie (yum) soup.

then suddenly we got tired again and here we are – writing to you – because we like writing to you – back against the voluminous amounts of pillow and a satin wrap artfully tossed at the end of the bed.

we’re going to have a nap.

and then read a little.

Here’s what we Do Know: the land of the unwell is a strange and wonderful one.

It’s a land where one can take time to answer the following questions, all in the comfort of nothing but one’s (large baby blue with a fleck of brown in one iris) in case you’re curious) eyes and nose peeping out from the pillowy depths.

1. Is this how we want to live our life?

2. Do we have the best of friends? And how can we care for those friendships best?

3. Who really didn’t show up? And how can we politely but firmly make space in our lives by carefully distancing ourselves for people who can?

4. Are we living in the city that makes our heart sing? (Are we living in the country that makes our heart sing – and do we have a choice – yes, the canard of immigration will soon raise its ugly head as we apply again for Advance Parole – yes, that’s what they call it – so comforting ;)

5. Do we relish each morning with the tasks ahead a joy – or dread them?

6. What can we change?

7. What can we ask the Universe (insert any other magical concept you like but make it BIG enough to be GLORIAous) to help us/show us/do for us?

So no. We don’t know how we feel (and it’s sort of irrelevant and changes like the wind anyway).

But we sure as hell are getting answers to the questions 1 – 7 ;)

And That, darlings, is Utterly Divine.

We like that bit Very Much.

Illness has liberated us.

Watch out.

post-surgery wisdom (we just reached the angry stage).

(soundtrack to this post, in case you’re curious: McAlmont & Butler – Yes – thanks to William and we’d like to point out – in our Youth – we wrote a very nice piece on David M for a certain Australian magazine…..)

the hardest thing to bear has been the relentless optimism (which might be appropriate if one has been brought up here in the land of – ahem – denial) and the minimizing of our current reality and imminent future (no, to be honest, we’re not “raring to get back to work” – we feel really sick and would like the time to recover if that’s not too much to ask).

we’re all for acting only on the evidence to date.

but we’d just like to say one BIG thing we’ve know now: post-surgery.

………………….when someone gets a diagnosis of

“you have a tumour/tumor and we found a mass and need to operate”

we are going to say:

here’s what we did when we heard that.

we’re NOT going to say “everything’s going to be fine”*.

because – the middle bit – between diagnosis and eventual full recovery (one hopes) is Not Fine.

It Hurts.

And It Sucks.

A Lot.

and here’s another thing we’d like to say.

for everyone who said:

oh, that’s exactly what happened to my friend X

(and then you ask them for details – most of the time they don’t actually have details – but when they do it turns out to be some keyhole surgery – Not What We Had At All and we have the nasty Frankenstein’s monster/monstre/creature black and blood encased wound on our neck to prove we had our Throat Slit)

OR some people (who Really ought to know better – hmmm, that was our Nancy Mitford voice then – crisp and Rather Withering) said:

so – and – so was right as rain shortly after

not to be dramatic (oh, how we lie ;-)

we’d like to put our hand on our heart and remember these people who once had a doctor sit in front of them and say:

“you have a tumour/tumor and we found a mass and need to operate”

a  n  d                        d  i  d  n  ‘ t                           m  a  k  e             i  t

goodnight and sweet dreams wherever you are: Liz T, Greg P, John D, Ruth P and so many more………..

!good news!: we managed to speak later today. and not just through teamgloria.com – actual sounds. damaged vocal chords for a little while. sounded like us circa 1995 on 2 x packets of Camel Lights (forgive us) a day and the other bad habits. but it felt good to TALK. and especially TO LAUGH. And then to have a little cry (ABM was a GEM and read to us from Armistead Maupin and we taught him how to say “shall I be mother” as he picked up the teapot to top us up).

 

we went to Hell. And made it back

Oh dear god(s).

That was a trip to Hell and no mistake.

But we made it back. And will be recovering slowly over the next few weeks.

Tobias the tumour/tumor and his sisters are gone. There were complications (skip this bit if you’re squeamish) and we were under the knife for almost five hours while they removed glands and thyroid and tumors and glands twisted around tumors and worse. We can feel it. A deep intense pain.

Last night was the longest night of team gloria’s life (and if you’ve been with us for a while you know that we’ve endured and survived long-haul and subsequent jet lag to asia and back but this was Much Worse). Each hour was agony. And so cruel.

Plus side (we needed to find one) – the view from our hospital bed is ten floors up and rather twinkly manhattan and a rosy dawn this morning so that’s nice.

And the robe for surgery was a lovely lilac (so surprising!) with some cool tech inside which enabled our body to stay alive and warm during surgery.

We are not bombed on narcotics – refused all – going with (huge strength) tylenol and now off the UV drip and reading a little but mostly listening to The Archers podcast for dreams of an english countryside while blocking out our awful staggered heavy breathing from the tortuous bandage around our neck (which is a hell of a lot better than the surgical collar with – YUM – a blood drain – which we had all last night.

So – this bit is over.

They couldn’t tell if the tumors were blessed with C powers so they been frozen and sent to the Lab to be sliced and examined by people with large Lab glasses and Big Brains.

We’ll let you know.

Need to sleep again now.

Thanks so much for all the messages!!!!! We feel very loved.

And that really helps :)