Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Mike Dellosso: From the Valley, Part II
It's a suspense author's personal nightmare--and it comes in the midst of one of most exciting times of his life. He's thirty-five years old. A husband and father. His first novel is about to be released. Then the news from his doctor hits: "You have colon cancer."
Mike Dellosso tells the story of his journey through cancer on his web site. As Mike fought the cancer his debut novel, The Hunted, was released. Now he looks forward to March 2009 and the release of his second novel, Scream.
And now: Part II of Mike's story.
Here are a few other lessons I’ve learned from the valley.
God is good. I know, I know, common knowledge. But His goodness is not always understood by us. Even in suffering, He is good. Even in pain and discomfort and trial He is good. And sometimes that’s all we have to grab on to. It’s all our feeble faith can do to hold on to the truth that no matter what this world throws at us, no matter how deep that valley or difficult the journey, God is good.
Suffering brings about change. Pain causes us to reflect on life and living and what in the world we’re doing here. Trials force us to evaluate our purpose, to weed out those things that only seem to matter from those that really matter. And that causes us to change.
Life is short, too short to waste time on those things that only seem to matter. And that’s where my writing comes under the microscope. I’ve asked myself these questions: Do I write with purpose? Do I seek to change lives through my writing? Does my writing matter?
I write suspense, yes, but, hey, life is suspenseful. I discovered that firsthand. Even a suspenseful novel can prompt reflection, can stir a soul, can change a heart. And that’s what I want my stories to do.
I’ve come out of this valley with renewed purpose behind every word I write. I want them to matter. To stir. To change.
And I want to not only write, but live, fearlessly. Without regret. Without shame. Totally honest. Completely transparent. Boldly placing myself in God’s service knowing our time on this earth is short and growing shorter with each passing minute. No one is guaranteed tomorrow. No one has stakes on the future. I want what I do—whatever I do—to count.
Is that hokey? Is it weird? I sure hope not. But if it is, then color me weird. Gladly.
And you know what the strangest part of all this has been? I have another novel releasing March 3rd, one year from the time I was diagnosed with cancer . . . but it was written even before I was diagnosed. It’s called Scream and it’s all about the brevity of life and the imminence of death. I feel like in some way I’ve lived the message behind the story. Strange, I know. Kinda makes the story a little extra special.
As of the writing of this post, I’m finished chemotherapy, received a great report from my oncologist, and am looking forward to undergoing surgery to reverse my ostomy on January 7th. All the king’s horses and all the king’s men are going to put Mikey back together again.
Now that’s hokey.
Note: Mike's surgery was successful, and he's now recovering. Thank you, Mike, for telling us your story.
Read Mike's blog, Wide-Eyed Fiction.