I know... it's been a REALLY long time! I bet you were beginning to wonder if I'd fallen off the edge of the planet...well, let me assure you, as of this moment, I have not. ;) LOL
I've been trying to figure out how to approach this message, how to offer up an explanation for being away for so long. I've decided that direct and to the point is how I handle most things, so this will be too.
Earlier this year, I was diagnosed with a serious medical condition. I hadn't been feeling well for quite some time, and trips back and forth to the doctor hadn't helped. End of May, a new doctor ran all the right tests, and figured out exactly what was going on. My new doctor sent me to all the right specialists, put me on numerous medications, and helped me to understand the lifestyle changes I needed to make in order to live my best and healthiest life as well as to minimize the impact this disease has on my quality of life. It took time for my body to adjust to the medications, and effort to make the changes to our lifestyle that are needed in order for me to be well. I will always have this disease, but I am doing much better as I grow stronger and healthier each day.
So what does all this mean when it comes to my participation in our fandom? I'm finally beginning to feel up to doing. I don't know if that's something everyone will understand, but I've been so sickly and so exhausted over the past couple of years (yes, years - I've been sick for some times, we just didn't know it) that it took all my extra energy just to do the bare minimum. And when I first went on all these medications, it compounded those issues - my mom had to come stay with us for a few months, my husband had to take a significant amount of time off of work to help me, to take care of me - it was difficult for everyone. I'm a fiercely independent person, and I've always been the one taking care of everyone and everything. I spent several weeks in a state of near helplessness, completely dependent on others. Even just writing this, thinking about it all, I'm in tears. They even suspended my driver's license in the beginning because I was medically unfit to drive - I just got it back last week. (I can't tell you how much I missed Gertrude... that's my car, FYI. ;) )
But I'm getting off topic here - I have a lot of emotion when it comes to all of this. This has not been easy for me, at all.
So back to today. My doctors are thrilled with my progress and how well I'm doing. I am not at 100% and I am well aware of it. However, I am feeling better than I've felt in YEARS. And that has to mean something good. I've been digging out the fics I was working on, and dusting them off. I plan on getting back into the swing of things with the websites. I will have to pace myself, so I may not be able to turn things out at the rate I'd like to, but that's okay. Something is better than nothing.
I want to express my heartfelt appreciation and gratitude to all those who have continued to visit The Lion's Keep, Hunk's Corner, and my FF.Net account. The messages you've sent here or there, the emails, the DMs on Twitter, the PMs on Facebook... Your kindness, your friendships, they helped to lift my spirits in those moments when things seemed really dark, when it seemed I couldn't find any joy or light - when I feared that life would never be "normal" for me again.
It's true that often the smallest gestures of kindness have the deepest impact. So, I thank you for that.
And you can count on this - I may get knocked down from time to time, but you better bet I always get up swinging.
With Love and Hugs,
(AKA LancesKitten and/or KittyShan)