Note to Cancer: I LIVED, MUTHERF#@%ER! Note to Publishing: I fear nothing.

Seventeen years ago today, I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a virulent blood cancer. (Coincidentally, November 28, 1994 was also the Monday after Thanksgiving that year.) Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Every day since that one is bonus time. A gift, and I know it.

During chemo, I was clobbered by the realization that writing is what I was supposed to do with my life. An inconvenient discovery at an extremely inopportune moment, but my longshot odds of survival actually made my longshot odds of getting published slightly less ridiculous.

My goal was to live for five years, just long enough so that my children (ages 5 and 7 at the time) would remember me and maybe - just maybe - I could get one book published.

Seventeen years and a dozen books later, I'm taking a humbly grateful moment to say TAWANDA!

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