The fight is strange

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By balder

Things have gotten weird and complex, even for a cancer fight. I've got a few abandoned drafts of long news posts piling up. It's extremely important to both of us to share what's happening. The news is not all bad, but it's turning out to be impossible to talk about in anything less than ten pages. So I'm going to tell this whole story at some point, but now is not the time. Let me try one more time for a shorter version.

 

Linda and I are currently in Baltimore, looking for a place to live. This is where we need to be for treatment. Her diagnosis has changed from adenocarcinoma to a rarer cancer called neuroendocrine tumors (NET). She is still Stage IV and much is still unclear, including the site of origin. Her treatment path has changed. She is off chemo. Overall, her prognosis got a hell of a lot better. Science knows what to do about this one, and we're doing it.

 

Where the updates are concerned, I need to talk about the trouble with "LESS."

 

I'm finding out two things here. The first is that Erfworld might not be tellable in splash pages and increments of 500-750 words. Even under the circumstances, when everyone's been so supportive and understanding and patient, I've got my own minimum standards to meet for what's good enough to be an "update." I'm frequently getting to 800 words, with very nice art in hand, and feeling that what I've got on my screen isn't worthy of collecting your pledges. In the case of the recent text with Benjamin and Huehue, I could have posted for an on time update, but chose to skip and make it 1600 words when it finally went up.

 

The second thing I'm finding out is that I need to have all of Erfworld loaded into my head to even write a small bit of the story. The details are too critical. Over the last two months, my headspace has been occupied with a crash course in oncology. Where Erfworld requires me to think about contract Signamancy, string fragments, and the known and unknown characteristics of Date-a-mancy, my brain has largely been occupied with terms like "next generation full expressome genomics," "hepatic arterial infusion," the difference between an octreotide scan and a NETSPOT scan, and the expression of certain proteins in healthy and cancerous cells.

 

This is all to say that unexpected skips will probably continue, but you may see less "LESS" when we do post.

 

On top of that, there's about to be a break in updates. Lillian told us near the end of last year that she planned to travel out of the country with her family for several weeks in June. Our plan for the story was to have that happen between books, but..cancer. So Linda and I will be moving to Baltimore during that span, and Xin will be posting two pinups a week so we can keep her working and getting paid. I'll post details about that as soon as possible.

 

Everybody's still doing the best we can, and please keep bearing with us. You've been incredibly kind and helpful during this whole adventure, and we're more grateful to you all than I could ever say.