Don Westlake #3
A bit over seven years ago I had two surgeries for thyroid cancer. I posted some larky comments about it on my blog. A number of people thought I was in denial, thus my humor. I don't think so. I'd been afraid of getting cancer all my life that when I got it I was relieved that it was the kind people survive. 90% survival five years out (the type I had). Five weeks later, due to a strange pain in the right side of my lower,I went back to my oncologist. The next diagnosis wasn't so good. I had mutliple myeloma. Incurable. 70% dead in the first three and a half years. No larky posts about that. Made a living will. Made a deal with Kate Stine for Mystery Scene. Gave away more than 2000 books. Hunkered down. The kindness and concern of people I knew (and many I didn't) was truly moving. A week after my first post on the blog I got a letter from Don Westlake. I figured he'd be sending good wishes. He did. And he accompanied those wishes with a check for a thousand dollars. "Figured you might need this." Turned out we didn't so I sent the check back. But that was Don Westlake.