Hi everyone, it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted anything of value and I apologise for any silence this year. It has not been a particularly positive year for me, but at the same time being one of me busting through walls left and right, like Daniel Craig in Casino Royale. Going forward, I believe what I’m about to explain will be of great importance to my career as an author, but primarily as a human being.
Alright let’s begin with probably the most important event of 2019 for myself, my family, and all those close to me. In March of this year I woke up one morning with a muffled ear. I could hear, but sound was not perfect. It was annoying in the way it pisses me off when I snag my headphones on a draw whilst i’m cooking. Given the long-term poor weather at the time, I ignored it as best I could, assuming it was to do with air pressure or humidity.
Fast forward to the week after my birthday and I come home from work with one side of my body feeling really tingly. No loss of sensation and no numbness, just tingly. Immediately I thought I’d injured my neck or spine and two days later when I woke up realising it hadn’t gone away, I entered emergency at Cairns Hospital. Instead of the hours of waiting, I was rushed into a bed as my symptoms were indicative of a brain injury/condition. The following events took place over 4 or 5 days, those being MRI’s, Spinal Tap (I’m only ever calling it this), blood cultures, stool samples, cognitive tests, CT scans and perhaps some other things I’m forgetting.
Over a few days I was presented with a few likelihoods. The first and most pressing was an infection in the brain, and whilst this was tested for, it was unlikely as I don’t use intravenous drugs and I only ever play safely with others. Second was Cancer which of course is a terrifying prospect. It would have required a brain biopsy in Townsville and the usual list of Anti-Cancer treatments. The third was Multiple Sclerosis. This seemed unlikely at the time as whilst my symptoms were suggestive of this, it was inconsistent according to the Doctors I spoke with and was only a possibility to consider.
The final day, and now the Neurosurgeon comes to visit. I’m told that I have MS. I am now one of the apparently many people in my bloodline to be a part of this elite group and that’s all there is to it. I am now on treatment, infusions once a month of a drug called Tysabri (look it up it’s pretty cool). But for those who don’t know much about me, or haven’t yet read my book, only five and a bit years ago, I was not planning on sticking around. My mental health was at rock bottom. Thanks to a new and now dear friend I managed to pick up the pieces of my life and sow together something worth living for. Hearing that despite that choice, that now my body was slowly falling apart is pretty heavy, and it was probably the worst day of my life so far. But what was worse was knowing that the first person I had to call first, to let her know what my condition was, was too much to bare considering everything I’d done to make a life for myself.
But now you’re probably crying or something and wondering what I’ll do to survive?! Well actually I’ve got a huge fucking motivation to get busy now. Since my time in hospital I’ve begun university, studying English in a Bachelor of Arts. I’ve begun a Pole Dancing class that I will provide photos of when I git gud. I’m even making big plans in my personal life to help tear down those horrible walls that have kept me so afraid for so long. I’m a far cry from the person that graduated Highschool in 2007.
All that said, one can understand that I’ve had some trouble finding time to write. Lucy, my second novel, has been in the works since just before my book launch in 2018. Whilst I had made great progress by the time I checked into hospital, I suddenly became unable to write, or to find the energy to sit down and focus on what makes me happy. Medical check-ups, infusions, study, finding a place to live, all these things have taken priority over my writing for a long time now. But I wanted to make it clear that Lucy is still on her way, and all I ask is that people understand that above all else, my health will now take absolute priority. No exceptions.
I do however look very much forward to finishing the book as it’s been a blast to write. A note to Juliette Lachemeier, my editor, and Gloria Webb my Publisher, I apologise for not saying sooner what has kept me so quiet. I hope that sooner rather than later you’ll get a chance to help bring Lucy to the world. Assuming you like it, I suppose.
Alright, final topic and then we can all go for lunch. I don’t often post personal information about myself, and since 2016 it has been for good reason. That said a keen eye probably already figured this one out anyways so, better to just bite the bullet and level with you. Since the aforementioned year, I’ve been on hormone therapy and have been transitioning… bleh, this sucks. I sound like a Youtube confession. I’m fucking Transgender k? I’ve been slowly letting people in on the fact I would like to be called Zoe going forward.
Why Zoe? Cause it’s fucking short and I’ll probably only forget it a few times. I generally like to remain fairly androgynous and can seem quite reserved in how I act with you, so I understand that it may seem a little strange at first, especially with poorly how gender is portrayed in mainstream media. If for some reason my voice bothers you, imagine how much it bothers me to sound like i’ve been chain smoking since the Roman Empire. If you are unsure about something, or feel that your initial response to this declaration of mine is negative, perhaps talk to me and learn something. I only bite when asked 😉 . Unlike what many religious folk say, knowledge is a of great value and can improve your life.
I do realise there are people in my life who will probably want nothing to do with me after hearing this, and to them I say…
To those who have stuck with me, especially Sarah Warnes, Michael Bethurem, and Courtney Lunnon. You’ve been extremely kind to me over the years and I owe you all a pizza for your efforts toward being accepting of me and helping me when I asked, even if it was a burden. I truly am indebted to you all.
So that’s all I had to say I guess. One final thing is that, if you’re keen for a deeper dive into my transition, I’d suggest keeping an eye out for a possible piece I contributed to a certain someone for their potential book that I may potentially be included in.
Anyway, thanks in advance for using my preferred name, though if you get it wrong a few times that’s ok, we all make mistakes. Oh, and keep an eye out for photos of my attempts to pole dance. Prepare to be underwhelmed.