This may turn out to be a long and disjointed post so be forewarned.
At this time (mid-September 2010) Jan and I should have been well into our visit to Australia. I’ve always, since I was a teen, wanted to go there and when we learned the 2010 Worldcon was to be held in Melbourne, we decided that we would go whole-hog and attend the convention, and then tour Australia. All plans were made well in advance and we were set to go.
Then Real Life™ intervened. In April I learned that my lymphoma had returned and I began another course of chemotherapy. The conclusion of that process was a round of high-dose chemo followed by a bone marrow transplant. Needless to say, the Australia trip had to be canceled.
Countless friends provided tremendous support both for myself and Jan during all of this. I received cards from all over and even more emails with good wishes and encouragement. On August 10th I was able to return home after 28 days in the hospital. Even after coming home, my friends continued to provide support and encouragement.
In particular members of the on-line community, sff.net, were a constant source of support. A number of them are part of an organization called The SFWA Musketeers which I have been involved with for a number of years. I have worked as an ‘Auxiliary‘ and assisted them in their charity fund-raising activities at various SF conventions.
All this is a way of explaining the wonderful gift I received in today’s mail. To help cheer me up and partially make up for the missed Australia trip, they sent me this:
For those of you not in on the scheme, it was a plush toy Platypus (Mortimer Gervias Platypus) who is dressed in a costume like those the SFWA Musketeers wear for their performances. In addition it came with an extra special bonus, a one-of-a-kind booklet, “The Platypus Diaries“, which explains how Mortimer came to Iowa.
Needless to say, I’ve been grinning from ear to ear since this arrived and I’m looking for the perfect place to display this treasure.
So first let me thank everyone who was thinking about me through my recent ‘adventure.’ I can’t say it enough, but all the cards, emails and even phone calls helped me get through everything with a positive attitude. And special thanks to those who were responsible for Mortimer. You know who you are!
Do you think Platypus will want to journey back to Australia with us when we visit in the coming year or so? What a cutie!!! And what wonderful friends to be thinking of you.
That’s wonderful! What a neat way to give you a bit of Down Under.
So glad to hear that you are planning to go back to Oz!
Tom! That is such a thoughtful gift!
And the gift you have given all of us by plowing through that chemo, your health again, is the greatest gift of all! I know I speak for everyone your life has, is, and will continue to touch!
Well done Musketeers and welcome to Iowa, Mortimer! You’re in good and loving hands, I assure you!