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Posted 2018-04-16T17:17:29Z

No news is good news

Hi, everyone! Just a quick update to let you know that I’m still here. Life is nearly back to normal (although I look out the mid-April windows at ice and snow and a gray sky that hasn’t broken in more than a week and I wonder!).

Digestion woes continue, but with moderate improvement. As expected, my portions continue to have to be small. Table sugar (and therefore milk — but not, thankfully, fructose!) continues to be problematic, and I still need to avoid highly acidic food (such as tomatoes). Though the question of portions will never really change, the other troubles might — so that’s good.

Needing to think about food so often is a pain, but I must: I really haven’t begun regaining any of my lost weight. This now seems to be the most important remaining recovery task.

And my Mordor project? It continues. I gave a paper at last week’s Tolkien in Vermont conference at UVM detailing the changes Tolkien made in his various draft and sketch maps as he was writing The Lord of the Rings. I was able to use all the graphics I’ve prepared for the Worldbuilding chapter, and they seemed to be well received. So I still have quite a bit of book research to do, and writing as well, but I have the full outline and all of the necessary artwork finished. I’m behind where I’d hoped to be even as of January (well after the surgery), but I can now work at nearly full speed. Not too long ago, the editors said they still had leeway to include my chapter. I’ll contact them again shortly to re-confirm.

And so, I guess we could say that I’m 1 for 2. Or maybe 1.5 for 2. But the important thing is that I’ve come through it and am on the other side. I’ve had follow-up appointments with all the various doctors, who all say essentially “so far, so good.” And I’ll have a six-month follow-up with the surgeon in June (after a PET scan and a CAT scan). And then presumably another one in December....

If I hear anything other than an “all clear,” I’ll resume posting here. Otherwise, you can assume that no news is indeed good news.

I’ve resumed posting professionally about my Tolkien work at Vermont Softworks. My most recent post gives more details about last week’s and several upcoming conferences I’m attending or giving papers at.

And after several long hiatuses (hiati?) and multiple migrations, the Mueller-Harder family journal has found a new and hopefully permanent home; I’ll again try to persuade other family members to join me in posting entries there, but I in any event will endeavor to keep it up-to-date. I’ll gradually be populating with older material, too; its change log will keep record of those updates. Today’s post includes a couple of pictures of the Cabot Community Theater production of Mary Poppins, which both Cameron and Karen were heavily involved in.

I’d like to let all of you know how much I appreciate the support, books, comments, food, music, love, and even just interest that you’ve sent or shown over these months. I could never stay depressed or worried for long with so many excellent people rooting for me. You made all the difference.

Thank you!

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Comments (10)

  • Andrew Peterson
    Andrew Peterson

    It is certainly a joyous sign when the most important remaining recovery task is to gain weight. Huzzah! Thankfully Heart's Ease is chock full of excellent folk who both cook and bake delicious things and Hardwick is the home of the most wonderful pies, or so I am told. :-)

    one year ago · Reply
    • Erik Mueller-Harder
      Erik Mueller-Harder

      You’re right, Andy — it’s a good problem to have! As for those Hardwickian pies, though, I’ve heard you have to watch out for the dried coconut bits....

      one year ago · Reply
    • Andrew Peterson
      Andrew Peterson

      Hardwickian pies are good with or without dried coconut bits...although why someone would want a pie without dried coconut bits I'll never know. You can always just wash down dried coconut bits with a wee dram of The Macallan 12. Just sayin'...

      one year ago · Reply
    • Erik Mueller-Harder
      Erik Mueller-Harder

      :-)

      one year ago · Reply
  • Kara Pekar
    Kara Pekar

    I'm so glad to hear you are doing well on the whole, though I'm sorry about the digestive woes. You look wonderful in your photo -- it's great to see such a radiant smile on your face! Best wishes to you as you continue to recover and (hopefully) regain the weight you lost, and our best to your family as well.

    one year ago · Reply
    • Erik Mueller-Harder
      Erik Mueller-Harder

      Thank you, Kara!

      one year ago · Reply
  • Chloe Bird
    Chloe Bird

    So glad that this is a "no news is good news post." I wonder how often to do those with my husband Allen in his cancer journey. I see how what it feels like to see a post notification popup and quickly hope it is a happy and or blissfully uneventful update. What a great pic! Good luck with the weight. Allen's cancer meds make weight a challenge the other direction because they seriously mess with triglycerides, not that he is complaining. I hope that you sort out weight gain. I wish I could send you a bunch of ripe avocados or maybe walnuts (which at least can travel well). Wish you all the very best and that spring comes soon and your manuscript comes together expeditiously in beautiful and pleasing ways.

    one year ago · Reply
  • Rebecca Gould
    Rebecca Gould

    I am SO HAPPY to hear this!! 💚💚I know that 1.5 for 2 must still be very frustrating. And simply thinking about food and the body every day can be mentally exhausting as well as physically trying. It can be easy to say, “I got through that horrific surgery “ why am I not deliriously happy and energetic every day? Hang in there with the slow, frustrating stuff. Your Tolkien work sounds So interesting. Glad you are back full steam on that. Hoping I can pay a call on you once summer arrives. Here’s hoping the sun will shine soon. Healing sheep energy t’ewe ewe! 🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑

    one year ago · Reply
  • barbara grandberg
    barbara grandberg

    also glad your doing well while navigating your new normal ;} and what a great start for the sox!!!!!

    one year ago · Reply
  • Mike & Eileen Franch
    Mike & Eileen Franch

    Thanks for the wonderful news, Erik. As the old union song says, "Step by step, the longest march, can be won, can be won." And it's always fun to see summer friends in their winter clothing! You're looking very dapper and even donnish.

    one year ago · Reply