We are only one week away from my official book launch. My Medical Musings..The Book is both bitter-sweet for me. Without the horrors of my health, I wouldn’t be celebrating the wonders of my new writing career.
I’m both excited and full of trepidation about the book launch. I share deeply personal things about my health, my life and my faith but I do so in order to hopefully connect with my readers.
In the book I also provide practical tips on how to live the best life possible with chronic and debilitating disease.
In this blog post I want to give you a bit of a sneak peek of the “Preface and Introduction”. As my blog followers you have supported me for over 7 years and it’s my little gift to say “thank you”.
Thank you for giving me the courage to write this book. So many of you kept asking me to do it and your support and belief in my abilities means so much. Now I just have to hope the book doesn’t disappoint.
I also want to thank others who have contributed to the book. At the back you’ll find some beautiful reviews and recommendations from some Medical Musings with Friends members.
Here are just a couple:
“Think of somewhere you feel warmly welcomed, supported, motivated, loved and inspired.
That’s what being around Sam is like, and that’s what she has created with Medical Musings with Friends. Whatever your background, health, illness and circumstances, you can belong here and be an integral part of the community.
It’s what many like myself with chronic illness and pain cannot find or feel anywhere else: You’re not alone here. You’re in excellent company.”
“I have been a member of Medical Musings with Friends for five years now. I love its community; they understand my life experiences as few people can. When my husband, my caregiver, had three strokes in three months (he’s fine now), the group was where I turned for empathy. Having over 1800 members from all over the globe means there is always someone to read and comment on posts, so I don’t feel like I’m talking to empty air.”
Navigating the Storms, https://www.navigatingthestorms.com/
I am also so delighted to have a Foreword and an Afterword in my book. The Foreword is written by a previous boss, Retired Executive General Manager, Kenn McCall and the Afterword is by Arthritis Queensland CEO, Emma Thompson.
I am so incredibly grateful to both Kenn and Emma. I won’t share their special contributions here. You’ll have to read the book for that treat!
I also want to thank Betsy Riley, a long time member of Medical Musings with Friends. Betsy wrote the most amazing poem about me. She just posted it one day in the forum out of the blue and there was no way it couldn’t be included in the book. Again it’s another treat I’ll keep a secret for now.
I recorded a version of this blog post today on my Podcast, Medical Musings with Sam. Well two versions to be precise. I wanted to include a downloaded song which required me to only publish the Podcast episode through Spotify.
This meant if you don’t have Spotify you couldn’t here it. So I decided to do a second version with me singing the song (sorry about that!) At least it can be heard on all major Podcast apps…..oh and you get a bit of banter between Peter and I at the end of the song. That has to be a bonus right??
A Sneak Peek at Some of The Preface and Introduction
Writing this book has been a long time dream for me. I always believed one day I would write a non-fiction book. Fiction has never been my forte, although I love reading it and admire authors able to pull together a captivating plot. However, I seem to be more comfortable in sharing real stories.
I did write a very short book when I was 21, which was self published, called “God’s Ways, Not Ours”. It was commissioned by my church, as I’d been administering the restoration
of a beautiful historic church building to its original glory. The book told the restoration story and
documented the history of the church.
It was at least a start in my non fiction literary career!
I never expected to write about myself though. I couldn’t imagine there would ever be much to write about where I was concerned.
Until one day, everything in my life changed.
I love the saying ” When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”.
Well, this book is my lemonade. It’s bittersweet on so many levels.
The process has been cathartic. On one hand, it’s a dream realised. On the other hand, it’s a stark reminder of the reason I have a story to tell.
Chronic Illness is not something I would have asked for, or would wish upon anyone else, but life always has challenges no matter our
journey. This is just mine and I decided to find ways to live my best life possible with it.
I am so incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to tell my story, and share my learned experiences of how to cope with the “lemons” in my life.
I have managed over time to turn my chronic illness lemons into lemonade and myrecipe is surprisingly sweet.
I truly hope as you follow my chronic illness journey through my book, you will be able to taste the sweetness, as together we laugh, cry, perhaps even cringe at times.
The chapters are designed to be read randomly or in order. It’s entirely up to you. I’m acutely aware of how difficult reading can be when struggling with so many chronic illness symptoms. I really hope I’ve managed to make this book one you can pick up, choose favourite chapters and keep going back to those when you need a friend to encourage and support you.
My overarching reason for writing this book is the same reason I started my blog and forum….simply to continue to reach out to as many people as possible, who are living daily with the consequences of chronic illness.
My hope and prayer is you will find understanding, peace, purpose, friendship, and your own path to living a fulfilled life, despite your chronic disease.
Years ago, when I was 22, I was involved in the restoration of an historic church building. It had been left derelict for years. To see it returned to its original glory as a place of worship was amazing.
After the restoration was completed, I would visit the church on my way home from work.
I loved the quietness and solace God’s house provided. Especially this building, as I had invested so much of my heart and soul into the restoration process.
I had grown up in church life and I had given my own heart to Jesus with childlike faith at the age of seven. It wasn’t until I was 21, I experienced a strong call to serve God, no matter
what circumstances I found myself in.
As a 22-year-old standing in that empty church at the end of my working day, I would sing out loud my favourite hymn:
(Louisa M. R. Stead circa 1850-1917)
“Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise,
And to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”
I sang the song with complete faith that God would be with me every step of my life,having no idea what I would be facing 26 years later, and how important my faith would be to
The words of this song had even more meaning as I lost my mobility, my career, and my life as I knew it on so many levels.
In the past 14 years, I’ve had 16 surgeries, including a total abdominal hysterectomy, three bowel surgeries, seven Orthopaedic surgeries on my left leg and four on my spine. There
is no treatment and no cure for my rare disease and many of my surgeries fail.
Today, I’m often asked:
“How can you be so positive? I’d be curled in a ball in the corner crying uncontrollably if I was you. What’s your secret?”
Despite my chronic disease I still laugh, love and thank God daily for the amazing blessings in my life.
The list is bountiful:
- A beautiful husband who is my best friend, my soul mate, my lover and my full-time carer;
- A beautiful, cottage sized, home that provides me a safe haven;
- A wonderful purpose and ministry, caring for others through the online support forum I founded, “Medical Musings With Friends”, for people with chronic and complex diseases;
- Friends and family who love and support me;
- But above all, I am most grateful for the blessing of a peaceful acceptance of my circumstances.
(Jeremiah 29 v 11)
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to
harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
God never promises us an easy life, but He does promise us a life full of purpose, joy, and hope. Our bodies were never made to last but our souls are.
I hope and pray, in the unfolding chapters of my book, my story encourages others who are facing an uncertain future and change in life’s direction, to not give up on creating new dreams and finding a new purpose.
I hope my shared experiences, throughout, help you to find the courage over time, to learn to accept and embrace a new way of life and be brave enough to share your own experiences.
Chronic disease is a part of our life but it doesn’t have to be all of our life.
“Don’t let your happiness depend on something you may lose”.
I can’t end this blog post without the most important thank you of all. I want to thank Peter. Without him, my story would be so different and I don’t think my book, blog or Podcast would even exist. His love and support is such a gift from above and another reason why I can sing….
“Tis so Sweet To Trust in Jesus”
My book “My Medical Musings”, is being published by Imaginewe Publishers. Pre-release sales are available now from the 6th May 2022 to the 19th May, with the official book launch on May 20th.
Here is the pre-sale link:
If you’re looking for genuine support, care, understanding & friendship, you are so welcome to join my closed Facebook support forum, Medical Musings with Friends . It’s a safe place to connect with others living with chronic & complex diseases, who truly understand the daily challenges. A warm welcome awaits.
I’m also a Contributor at “The Mighty”. You can check out my published articles at My Author Page
I also write @ Blogs by Christian Women
If you would like to read a little more about my journey, here’s the link to My Story