I have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, to be sure. The day after Thanksgiving marks the eight-month anniversary of my craniotomy, and I finally feel mostly like myself again. I was able to stop taking my seizure medication several weeks ago, and that helped a lot. (I don’t tolerate medications well, generally.)

I’ll never be exactly the same, I don’t think. I have remaining deficits in my memory center, my ability to focus and multitask, and in the use of my right hand. Only time will tell what’s permanent and what’s not.

But those remaining deficits are surmountable obstacles, and even if it never gets better than this, I’m good. In fact, I’m great.

I’m blessed to have had such a quick (considering the surgery) and complete recovery and to be surrounded by the most amazingly loving and supportive friends and family. I know how lucky I am in everything. Because unfortunately, I have two very solid counterpoints of comparison just in my own family.

I was not the first among my extended siblings to be diagnosed with a brain tumor and undergo a craniotomy. I wasn’t even the second. I was the third. And mine is by far the only positive outcome.

My older stepbrother is 53 and has spent his career as a family doctor, something he was inspired to do to give back after doctors saved his life as a child by curing his leukemia. Sadly, the revolutionary treatment that cured him (and many like him) back then is causing brain cancer in those same patients now. My stepbrother fought valiantly, but is now permanently incapacitated after multiple craniotomies, radiation, and multiple grand mal seizures. However much time he has left, it’s not of the quality I’d wish on anyone.

My younger stepbrother-in-law was the first among us to be diagnosed. His glioblastoma was discovered after he returned from the latest of his several tours with the Army in Afghanistan, where he was a Blackhawk mechanic. He’s had two craniotomies and radiation. He was in remission for the past couple of years, but we just found out that the glioblastoma has returned and is now inoperable as it is taking up the entire left side of his brain. He has three to six months to live. He is 31.

By the end of 2020, I will likely be the only survivor. That just sucks.

So, yeah, I’m lucky as hell. And I am thankful every day for my positive outcome. Because it could be so much worse. Even if my tumor comes back, it won’t be cancer.

But what my family has gone through this year provides a stark reminder to enjoy your blessings while you can. Every day is a gift.

So, this holiday season, I’m going all in on the celebrating. And finding things to be thankful for.

In that vein, I’m thankful to be catching up with work, for starters.

The hardcovers I mentioned last week? They’re live and available to order now! And the Kickstarter supporter copies are in production at the press! I can’t tell you how cool it is to see Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s entire Diving Series in hardcover!

And the WMG Holiday Spectacular 2019 launches this week! This is a very cool and very ambitious project, to be sure. And you still have time to order it. Just click here.

Finally, this week we have books in all three Storybundles that are live right now. Two of those (the Historical Mystery Bundle and the 2019 NaNoWriMo Writing Tools Bundle) end this week. The third, the Realm of Faerie Bundle, just launched last week. I’ll tell you more about that one in my next Publisher’s Note.

Till then, I wish you Americans a very safe, happy, and grateful Thanksgiving. For the rest of you, wishing you happiness and gratitude without the turkey <grin>.

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.