Friday, October 28, 2016

Goodbye (to the me I used to be)

So, here I am.

Thinking about how quickly summer passed and how swiftly winter is approaching.

The last time I blogged, I'd just had a book released.

About a week after that, I had a run in with a bug. He left me with this (can you even see it?):

Which (over the course of a couple of weeks) turned into this bit of loveliness:

It's been a Lupie couple of months since then. I've had a lot of appointments and blood tests, and I've found myself waking up in the morning wondering where the me I used to be went.

I look in the mirror and I see someone I don't know. She's this oddly disjointed version of the person I was. Thinner and sallow-looking, haggard and worn. At times, I feel like a shadow of myself, and I miss the person who could jump out of bed and race through the day, who could stay up late into the night writing and wake up in the morning refreshed. I miss the person who didn't get tired out from conversations, who didn't spend half of her day wondering if she had time to take a nap. The person who didn't spend the first fifteen minutes of every morning hobbling around on stiff feet and painful ankles.

I miss her, but I don't want her back.

Don't get me wrong. I want my health. I crave that more than just about anything. I want to wake up one morning and feel great. It hasn't happened yet, but I'm holding out hope. My primary doctor and I had a nice long chat about how insidious lupus is and how difficult to treat. It effects everyone in different ways and until there is a cure, all the doctors can really hope to do is keep the immune system under control and prevent destruction of healthy organs and tissue.

"I'm waiting," she said. "For the cure."

So, am I.

But, even if a cure were to happen tomorrow, I will have been changed by this disease.

And, while I mourn who I was, I can't be sorry for who I've become.

I find myself much more gentle as I go about this thing called living. Mostly,  I have realized that my journey does not have to be a mad dash to the finish line. It can be a slow waltz at midnight, a rambling stroll at dusk. It can be standing in the shelter of an old sweet gum tree and finding a luna moth there.

The world is filled with so many wondrous things.

And, I have no choice but to walk slowly and see them.

I can't be sorry about that.

I think as you read my newer books you will see what I have seen - the velveteen sheen of twilight roses, the soft golden glow of dandelions at dawn, and the gently sloping road that leads us all toward home.

This month, my Apple Valley Novella was released as part of a Fern Michaels anthology. Next month, the sixth book in my Mission:Rescue series will be released.

I am so blessed to continue to do what I love. As much as I despise Lupus for what it has taken from me, I must acknowledge what it has given: a clear sense of time and mortality, a pristine view of the miraculous hidden in the stillness of a foggy fall morning, and a deep desire to share what I have seen in the only way I can. I hope that when you read my books, you will hear the spring rain pattering on the windows, you will smell chocolate and wood-burning fires, you will see through my eyes how the world could be if we loved a little more and griped a little less.

Peace to you on your journey. Wherever it may lead!

God made my life complete

    when I placed all the pieces before him.
When I got my act together,
    he gave me a fresh start.
Now I’m alert to God’s ways;
    I don’t take God for granted.
Every day I review the ways he works;
    I try not to miss a trick.
I feel put back together,
    and I’m watching my step.
God rewrote the text of my life
    when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes.

Psalm 18:20-24


Sharon Blackstock Dobbs said...

It is sad that we have to hit a brick wall to make us appreciate what we used to have. I am glad that you are learning to slow down and BE in the moment. I hate that you are sick. I am sure that your writing will be deeper for your experiences. You will be able to weave this present suffering into your future writing. Blessings,Sharon

Shirlee McCoy said...

Thank you, Sharon.

Lenora said...

You know I love you. Beautiful post. Beautiful you!!

Shirlee McCoy said...

Thank you, Lenora.

Jill Kemerer said...

I had no idea you were going through this. I'm so sorry. Your words really spoke to me. Today I will slow down and savor the last hurrah of fall.

Shirlee McCoy said...

That is the best thing I've gotten from this disease - the chance to slow down and to savor it. Thanks for commenting, Jill.

Tracey Hagwood said...

Hi Shirlee,
I'm sad for what you are going through, what you have written about your experience has touched me. The twists and turns of life can certainly change our perspective on things. I totally understand what you are saying about not being the you you used to be.

I have experienced a much simpler event in that severe arthritis in an injured knee is keeping me more immobile than I ever thought I'd be. I only get a few hours of things done each day before I'm sitting. Pain and too much sitting affects overall health and weight.

I see myself changing before my very eyes, but like you I've chosen to accept where I am while working toward solutions and look for the good daily. In this slowed down life I do see things I might have missed in the hustle and bustle.

Like I said, new perspective. There doesn't look to be any mad dash to the finish line for me either, but that rambling stroll at dusk doesn't sound half bad...

Sending up prayers for you Shirlee, that you would be blessed in the midst of it all. Thanks for the verses from Psalms, I'll be meditating on them today.

Shirlee McCoy said...

I will be praying for you, Tracey.

Anonymous said...

You're a new author to me and I'd love to know if you have a newsletter or just your blog?

I know you're on FB but, I've put FB on timeout because I was getting sucked into it's vortex and I'm needed more in the here and now.

I'll put you on my prayer list as our daughter-in-law has had JRA since she was 15 and I guess now that's she's 37, it's considered RA but, it mimics Lupus and she has no immune system and goes monthly for an IVIG infusion.

Bless you and prayer chains do help, not sure if they can cure Lupus anymore than they can cure JRA but, prayer still helps.

Old DJ

Shirlee McCoy said...

Thank you, friend! Currently, I just have my blog. I've thought about writing a newsletter. And, then I've gotten tired thinking about it. Ha! I love to communicate one on one with readers. You can always email me at I am very quick to reply. Yes. Lupus is like JRA and can't be cured, but there are treatments. I really appreciate your prayers!!