Shawn Is Alive: No Really, He Is

photo-shawnI’ve had a great year.

After the year I had in 2011, I deserved a great 2012.

As many of you know, I was diagnosed with cancer in May 2011. I went through two surgeries, six months of chemotherapy, and many days where I laid in bed wondering what it all means.

But I persevered. I overcame. I shut up and put up, as they say. And I am stronger for it now.

Throughout the ordeal, I had some important people around me. Friends. Family. And a large internet group of people cheering me from beyond the computer’s electrons. That’s you. You were there for me. As Terry Brooks fans, we share a common bond, and since I’ve been Terry’s webmaster for 16 years if you include the dedication website that came before the official website, many of you have become dear to me and hopefully vice versa.

I realized this during the Wards of Faerie tour. So did Terry. As he usually does, our author toured for the release of his new book. He was immediately inundated with questions at these events—and questions not of the usual sort. Hundreds of you asked after my well-being. Terry was overwhelmed by this. He even called me halfway through his tour and said, “Damnit, Shawn, would you please post something on the website to let my readers know you are alive and well and not shuffling off your mortal coil just yet? Sheesh!”

I didn’t do it. Mostly because I like Terry talking about me on the road!

But he had a valid point.

So here I am, updating you all at the end of the year. I’m doing quite well. I had a check-up last week and I am still cancer free. I’ve made a significant lifestyle change—eating better, removing most gluten from my diet, more fruits and vegetables, doing hot yoga several times a week, and work in the gym.

I feel fantastic. I’m likely in the best shape of my life right now.

Cancer can have a positive effect as well, it seems.

I don’t know what the future holds. None of us do. But for right now, in this moment, I am here to stay.

You’ll just have to deal with your Web Druid a little longer!

Happy Holidays! Hope you are reading something great!

And here’s to a better and stronger 2013!

Written by Shawn Speakman
I am the long-time friend and webmaster for Terry Brooks as well as the author of The Dark Thorn, an urban/epic fantasy hybrid novel Terry calls "a fine tale by a talented writer." Join me on Facebook and Twitter (@shawnspeakman)!