There were a million things to be done and deadlines to be met. We had photo shoots to schedule, interviews to conduct, designers to talk to, editors to please, plans to be made. People were counting on us and we were counting on people. Maria was assisting with photo shoots, Pam was doing photo shoots in Canada, and setting up interviews and shoots (with Jake doing hair and Glamma doing makeup), and our friends and relatives were helping anywhere we needed it and everything was going along smoothly.
And then everything went all cancery.
Just as things were on a roll, the bones in Pam's foot started mysteriously breaking. She had aches and pains and an odd spot that needed to be biopsied. The doctors put her in a lovely boot as they spent several painful months testing her for what they thought might be cancer.
At the same time, Karen went in for her routine mammogram and was shocked when they didn't let her leave right away. After weeks of doctors appointments and horrendous tests, we learned that she had breast cancer. She would have surgery and daily radiation treatments.
And I was toothless. Sorry, I can't relive that without drooling on my keyboard.
Last year really sucked.
But one thing was good. We all had something to distract us, to look forward to. We all had one thing in mind: finishing what we started. We persevered. Instead of tossing our project that we were so passionate about on the back burner, we worked on it every chance we got (often in secret, when we were supposed to be resting). On cold nights with broken bones, swollen faces, and healing incisions, we sat up and plotted and planed. We photographed. We edited. We researched. We emailed. We laughed a lot. Sometimes, it took us longer to get things done than we hoped and sometimes just talking about the project was good enough to get us through a night when all else in life seemed uncertain or painful, or both. It was magical when things worked and funny when they didn't. It was art and it was healing and fun, and for a few hours a day we were focused on a project that brought us joy.
Luckily, Pam did not have cancer and her foot finally healed, Karen's cancer is now cured, and I have smile full of fake teeth. [Also, Pam was really bossy and she would not have let me not finish this book even if they'd had to amputate my head during the tooth implant thing. Bossy friends are the best.]
We are so thankful for all the support and love our friends have given us while we worked on our dream project, especially ~ Maria Hammon, Marissa Bowers, Joey Wargachuk (They never got annoyed when we urgently needed help!)
We started it. We finished it. Nobody is dead.
There's one more major part to this story. It's coming.