Or rather, I celebrated my secondary birthday this week. It's been one year since I almost died. And while the experience wasn't the only reason I made some rather drastic life changes, the way certain people reacted to me being violently ill last year's September, especially the way the publisher reacted, was an eye-opener to me. Lying on your bed, in violent spasm and screaming as bacteria run through your veins, scar your skin and make it virtually impossible for you to breathe... while you don't have the money to pay for the drugs you need to battle it... it gives you a quite fascinating new look on how much you are worth as a person. Especially if the reaction of your publisher is "Oh, that's horrible. Take a rest. I need the new chapter by the end of the week." Literally. In that order.
My parents saved me. With money they didn't have. To buy me the antibiotics that I needed, while I was desperately trying to keep up with impossible deadlines. Vomiting up sputum and blood every half an hour or so, with my hands often being stiff, my fingers no longer working and me crying my eyes out in pain at the keyboard for most of the time.
I will never forget that.
None of it.
And I will never forget the lesson it taught me.