The writing of the last post to this blog was a race between myself and the hospital. I knew they were going to call, but I was anxious to finish writing — to accomplish something — before the phone rang. I won the race, but just barely. The hospital called and announced what I already felt : bad blood. My latest blood test was, as usual, anemic, but this time really low, the worst since this all began in 2005. I had felt the bottom-feeding fatigue settling in over the past few days and I was, in truth, relieved to check into the hospital for a night of re-hydration and transfusion.
It was important to me to finish writing because I find it a little incredulous that I still can. For a long time I have been afraid to write. I was sure that the chemotherapy had scrambled my brain. I assumed that the chronic fatigue, the confusion and general fogginess of illness had stripped me of any ability I may have once had.
I’ve recently begun re-reading some of my old writing clips from before my illness, and I have been taken aback by a lot of them. There’s a lot of hyperbole, a lot of flowery phrases and un-tempered enthusiasm. I was trying really hard, and unfortunately you can tell. Still, some of it I think is endearing, and I miss that person. I realized that I wrote as I was : young, a little naïve, eager to succeed.
I suppose I still write as I am, but that person is of course very different : slower, more measured, consciously economic of breath and space. Sadder but wiser.
Through the endeavor of this blog I’ve had the happy realization that my voice is still there. And regardless of illness — and in many ways because of it — I still have something to say.
Which brings me to what I want to say in this brief, blanket post : thank you. I have been very touched by the comments left on this blog. And more so, I have been amazed that the insights offered have echoed so exactly my intentions for this project. It is gratifying to see that people seem to “get it.” It helps me to put a frame around my illness, to believe in my suspicion that I can make some sense out of — and find some calm in — the chaos.