The Last Word!

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It’s been a while, but I’m still here, puppy mom to Velcro and Gypsy, sharing my journey. I’m a nurse and a first-time author writing a book, and I’m happy to say that today I wrote the last word in my book!!

It’s far from done, as I still have a lot of editing to do, but I can see the light at the end of the doghouse, smell the barn, or whatever you like to say.

It also happens to be my girls’ birthdays, being one month apart, today Gypsy and Velcro turned 8 and 9 months old, respectively. They’ve been my constant companions throughout the process, shredding my wadded-up papers, and warming my chair faithfully.

They’ve done a lot of growing, and I have too!

These past few months have been challenging, keeping up with my work, with all the distractions of everyday people and dog events. They’ve gone from disrupting me every five minutes with barking, chewing, or destroying things around the house, to much better behavior. As they’ve matured, they can keep themselves occupied, so long as there’s a steady supply of things to chew on- hooves, antlers, bones, toys, sticks, and the occasional sock they’ve been able to sneak by me.

I’ve overcome most of the hurdles along the way, figuring out a great title, getting an awesome book cover design, finding people to read the manuscript, getting endorsements, finding someone to write a foreword and more. Keeping my word count under control has been another challenge, it’s easy to get too wordy and be repetitive. I’ve managed to keep that to a minimum with the help of people who are reading the manuscript as I go, but my Appendix blew the lid off what I first thought the word count would be.

The most important thing I’ve learned is how much work goes into a book beyond what the author writes. No book is written alone, and I’ve had help from many people. I think my acknowledgments could be a volume in themselves. And of course, I’ve had help every day from my girls.

I’m very excited and feeling optimistic about the remaining process.

Besides editing, the marketing part is what’s ahead. I need to get the word out about my book ahead of time, to draw interest to the topic and reach the intended audience. I intend to have a small celebration the day I send the manuscript off to the editor, and then double down on outreach. I also have to make sure my website is ready to go with all the links in order and everything running smoothly. Fortunately, I’ve got a great team, Sage Marketing Group here in Fort Collins, helping me with that.

Navigating the C: A Nurse Charts the Course on Cancer Survivorship Care is about all the stakeholders in healthcare and how each of these groups can do a better job of ensuring that cancer survivors’ needs are met. It’s an ambitious, creative, disruptive approach to the status quo of big corporate healthcare and survivorship care plans. I am showcasing the programs I’ve developed and use here locally, as well as proposing some changes to the way we teach people about using healthcare and advocating for themselves.

In a way, it’s like getting a new puppy – you look forward to it, but feel a little nervous, not knowing how it will behave. It takes training, and it’s a little risky, but I can’t wait to share this with the world!

 

 

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Alene Nitzky, Ph.D., RN, OCN, is an oncology nurse, health coach and cancer exercise trainer. She works in the community with cancer survivors and has developed two programs, Cancer Harbors and FIERCE, to help with patients and caregivers with post-treatment restorative needs to optimize quality of life.

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