For those who don't know, I found out this past week that it's time to have my heart fixed. I have a condition where my aortic valve does not close all the way, which causes a handful of problems, and I am in a near-constant state of chest pain. My doctors first noticed the problem a little more than three years ago. They originally predicted I would need open-heart surgery to replace the aortic valve in about 10 to 20 years. The condition has deteriorated much faster than anyone anticipated, however, and the prognosis quickly dwindled to five to 10 years, then two to three years, and now it's banging on the door.

It's scary for me, of course, but it is reality and it's not altogether bad. My surgeon is as good as they come (his record speaks for itself) and he is confident I will have a full and fast recovery. In spite of my chest pain, I'm thrilled to learn that I need not wait on the couch until my surgery. I can still play outside in this beautiful fall weather, to some degree (activity won't cause me to collapse and die, as I recently feared).

Truthfully, I'm actually getting a little excited for this outrageous life experience! My situation already has me looking at many aspects of life in a fresh way.

You might have noticed that my writing slowed down in the last couple weeks. It seems related to all the unknown variables, phone numbers to call, and the assorted emotions that have been weighing on me. Now that some big questions have been answered, I find myself in a good place. I'm writing more freely already since my trip to the CU-Denver Hospital on Tuesday. One exciting aspect is that my outdoor pursuits – which are so hard to tamp down in such lovely weather – won't compete with my writing time nearly as much after my surgery. I'm often conflicted between chasing sunshine or writing stories. I'm going to enjoy my physical ability while I can before Oct. 30, and afterward, I look forward to finally making some headway on quite a few writing projects that have been on back burners.

I hope you readers will stay with me as I embark on yet another definitive chapter of life! Thanks for checking in.

AuthorDerek Franz