Thursday, April 1, 2010


So I'm back from my prepub tour, which was lovely and much fun. It was great to meet so many booksellers, and they truly are the nicest people. I know how rare of an opportunity a tour like this is for a debut author and I appreciated every moment of it. When I was in Toronto I had my first interviews, which was a whole new experience. John Barber from the Globe and Mail ran his article last weekend, which thrilled my friends and family ( and me).

But then I had to come home. See, what a lot of people didn't know, unless they were unlucky enough to ask how my dog was, then they heard far more details than they probably wanted, is that my beautiful Annie has cancer. For months I'd been fighting an invisible enemy. We consulted many vets and specialists. Annie endured test after test as we tried to find out what was wrong with her digestive system. Then a month ago I found a lump on her flank, which turned out to be a mast cell tumor. We were looking on the inside and the devil was on the outside.

After consulting five vets, I decided to give her a chance at life, and she underwent surgery to remove it. This was not an easy decision as she'd been through a lot already, but the vets were hopeful and the odds were good if they got it all. But what we didn't know was that she already had another tumor under her armpit. When I came back from the prepub tour, I talked to her vet and we decided not to do any more surgeries. This one is in an awful spot and the odds of her getting another one are too high. It's time to just let her be. I am hopeful we will have some time with her still. I don't know how long. But I'm trying to make the best of every moment.

I will try to blog more about my tour in the future, but right now I'm focusing on finishing NEVER KNOWING and trying to baby my baby. We take slow short walks, and I let her sniff every blade of grass to her heart's content. She is not as cuddly since she's been sick, but when she does allow me to hold her, I curl up against her back and inhale the scent of her fur, trying to memorize her. In the moments when she is playful, I rejoice. And I tell her in every way, every day, how much she means to me.

You might wonder why I'm sharing this, and I hope I'm not depressing the crap out of you. But I'm a writer, this is what we do. Put our pain on paper.

I've never in my life had such a juxtaposition in my worlds. Career wise, wonderful things are happening with my book. Things I worked for and dreamed about for years with nothing more than faith and hope to go on. But personally, I'm losing something so important to me it hurts to type these words. And I had to pause. Because writing it makes it so real.


  1. Isn't life strange, Chevy? Your words are beautiful, a window into an honest soul, and they bring tears to my eyes. If it helps at all, sharing your story about Annie makes my own moments with Hudson all that more meaningful. When I breathe in the scent his puppy fur, I remember to appreciate the gift of the moment. Because things change in a heartbeat.

    Hugs to you both. She's been a lucky dog to have found you.

  2. Great interview in the Globe. Congrats, girl.

  3. Enjoy every moment, Chevy. I went through this last year with my dog, Benn, and it is the hardest thing I ever did to say goodbye to him. I still can't think about it without crying. But the good memories I can smile at, the doggy grin and boundless good humor. Some dogs are gods in disguise. Gods of love and happiness. But they don't stay for long and it breaks your heart to lose them.

  4. Thanks, Loreth. Yes, it's too true. Life can change in the blink of an eye. September I was a newlywed, just back from my honeymoon, heading to NYC, and all was good. A month later my furbaby was getting sick and it's been race against time ever since. So you're very right, enjoy every minute.

    Toni, thanks also for your comments and for sharing your story. I read your blog and I found some comfort there. Not in knowing you lost Benn, but in knowing I'm not alone.

  5. Beautiful photograph, beautiful words. I hope you and Annie feel loved and cherished, from friends both near and far.

  6. A couple years ago I lost my sweet baby dog to a brain tumor. I was away at college at the time and it was awful to know my mom had to say goodbye to him on her own. Enjoy every moment you have (as it sounds like you are) I'd give anything to be able to have those last few days with my Oscar back. <3

  7. Thanks for the support everyone and for sharing your stories. I've been touched by all the comments and e-mails that people have sent me. Annie is hanging in there, but it's still one day at a time. I made her a "bucket list" and I'm hopeful we can finish everything on it. Paws crossed!