Thank You

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.

  1. Aunt Lynn said:

    Oh Dear Andrew, You have never “lost” your voice. It had only traveled, temporarily, to that perfect place of clarity you so eloquently pass along to all of us! Thank you!

  2. louisa said:

    Hi Andrew, This blog is great – thankYOU! I enjoy reading your writing (I never had read anything by you before), it’s very eloquent and present. Your experience is valuable for many people in many different ways, thanks for sharing and keep it coming! Bises à (toute!) la famille.

  3. linda9166 said:

    Keep well. xc

  4. Uncle Rick said:

    Thank YOU Andrew. Your blog helps me to keep in touch with you in spite of the great distance between us. My love and positive energy always.

  5. Gail Panagos said:

    Andrew, We have never met, but I have been a friend of your mom’s for many years. We used to work together at Cypress libraries. So I have heard her share stories of you. Your blog is very touching, and I wish you well. Gail

  6. An Alchemist said:

    Don’t be afraid to be a little scrambled. Joseph Heller was clearly off his rocker when he wrote “Catch-22,” unarguably the greatest book of all time. And have you read “The Sound and the Fury?” Bloody hell….

    Maybe in time your daughter can pick up the mantle of youthful optimism in her musings. Then, one evening over a terrific French dinner you can tell her how real art is born from fire and like children do, she’ll tell you you’re crazy. You’ll think back to this very moment and realize that yes, perhaps you are a little bit, but some guy on the Internet said it was ok. And then you’ll give me an Internet high five again because you know I was right about Catch-22.

  7. Dya said:

    Dearest Andrew,
    There must be something in the air with the anemia…Mine (albeit not from cancer) is the lowest it’s been since 2006….I’m with you in spirit. Bless you and Kim and Aleyna. Big hugs, Dya

  8. Patricia Ochs said:

    You do have quite a voice and with it, I love that you have found a rhythm clearly tailored to where you are now, something real, and something wiser. I hope you’ll keep going with this blog. I enjoyed every post and look forward to more. I also like what the Alchemist wrote, especially creation emanating from fire. Brian read it too and agrees.
    Much love, Patricia

  9. This is such a perfect example of how art – here, the art of writing – can communicate things that are otherwise hard (or impossible) to communicate. It’s one thing to hear a dry medical summation of your illness – it’s quite another thing to hear you, the human being, sharing your experience in all its many colors and shapes. Thanks for posting and keep it up!

  10. Bernadette Murphy said:

    Bless you and guide you, “Angels to whom the willing task is given,
    Shall tend, and nurse, and lull thee,” Bernadette

  11. Brittney Carrasco said:

    Rest in peace, Andrew. You will be missed.

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