Wow, wow, wow.
The fundraiser has been a thumping success. It has exceeded all my expectations. I will be able to comfortably cover my mortgage and other expenses for a few months, while I recover my health and get my writing and speaking career revved up again afterwards. No further donations or spreading of the word are necessary: I’ve actually gotten somewhat more than I really need, and I’m seriously contemplating donating the overflow — probably to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Light the Night Walk via the Foundation Beyond Belief, and/or to Camp Quest. (I feel okay about asking my readers for financial help, but I feel weird taking more than I really need.)
I hadn’t realized how much of my stress and anxiety about this situation was focused on my financial worries, until I didn’t have those worries anymore. It is a huge, huge weight off my shoulders: I can now go ahead with the surgery, and with my recovery afterwards, with all my focus on my health. And I won’t feel pressed by financial worries into rushing back to work sooner than I’m ready to.
And possibly more importantly: I am deeply loving the atheist community right now. Atheism really came through for me on this one. I am feeling deeply loved and valued by this community right now. And I’m feeling excited and happy and energized to get back into working with it when I recover… in a way that I haven’t in a while.
Huge thanks to everyone who donated, with any amount. Some people have been commenting or emailing to say things like, “I’m so sorry I couldn’t donate more”: y’all need to knock it off. As someone who’s often on the broke side herself, I am intensely touched by people who are short on cash but who felt moved to make a small donation to help out anyway. And the small donations have been adding up, and are a big part of what’s made this a success. Huge thanks also to everyone who blogged about this fundraiser, Tweeted it, Facebooked it, Reddited it, or otherwise spread the word about it. Huge thanks for folks who have been buying my book, or encouraging other people to buy it. Huge thanks for all the suggestions for books and movies and TV shows: thanks to you, I am going to be the best-entertained cancer recovery patient in history. And huge thanks to everyone who simply sent me kind words. The kind words have been an enormous part of what’s making me feel loved and valued and re-energized.
This last few weeks have been an unbelievable shitstorm. But yesterday was the best day I’ve had in a while. Thank you all for making it happen.