A reprint of this year’s Christmas letter, for my many virtual friends whose street addresses I do not have.
What a long, strange year it’s been. In January, I was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer. The diagnosis put me on permanent disability, and a series of chemo treatments. This made money tight. Thankfully, my friends and family were there to help—especially my wonderful co-workers at The Roberts Group, who donated vacation time, gift cards and meals, as well as running errands for me. Everyone there went above and beyond what could ever be expected from work friends!
In the spring and summer, many of my Chicago friends came up to visit me in Waukesha, which is a pretty cool little town. Some of us visited the Les Paul exhibit at the local museum. Paul was a Waukesha native and one of my heroes.
I made it down to two White Sox games. On one trip, we got to eat at Cafe Semarie, where my buddy Bryant Anderson is the head chef. The food was amazing (and plentiful). Check it out if you get the chance.
In July, I made an author appearance at Arcadia Books in beautiful Spring Green, Wisconsin, reading from Naperville and Dr. Franks and the Antmen. Again, I was amazed at the friends and fans who traveled so far to hear me. And the bookstore owners were wonderful.
In August, I finished my chemo, went to an arts conference and moved to Tucson to be closer to caring friends. They were so excited to have me, they furnished my apartment before I arrived!
The rest of the year I was busy with settling in, arranging health insurance (thank God for Obamacare) and starting a milder form of chemo. The treatments are working, and, aside from some fatigue, I’m feeling good and getting my walks in daily, thanks to the warm Arizona weather.
I really want to thank every one of you who helped me this year, physically, emotionally and spiritually. I truly never knew how many wonderful friends I have until this year. I hope you all have a wonderful, blessed Christmas. I miss you all, and hope to make a trip back to the Midwest in 2015 to visit friends and family.