[cancer] Continuing fog, with reefs

The head fog carries forward. Yesterday was a pretty tough day at the Day Jobbe, for both external and internal reasons. Afterwards for a while I was barely conscious enough to interact with and . Even the arrival of didn’t get me out of my chair. I continue unusually hard of thinking. Not to mention exhausted. Every time I think I’ve hit a bottom, there’s a new bottom. Chemotherapy is like cloud diving without a parachute.

Another issue has cropped up, one I find quite disturbing. I’ve mentioned before that I’m not blocked in the classic sense of writer’s blocked so much as too exhausted to focus my creativity. A day or two ago, I re-read “Permanent Fatal Errors“, a Sunspin story of mine that is included in the excellent anthology, Is Anybody Out There?. I didn’t recognize the story. The writing struck me as very good, and as something I had no idea how to do. It was quite literally as if I were reading a piece by another writer for the first time. And I had the feeling that I couldn’t do that again if you paid me. (So to speak.)

This is deeply frightening.

I’m not foolish. There’s nothing wrong with my meta-analysis. Chemo is messing with my head in a big way lately, on top of months of exhaustion and slow decay. But subjectively, this is the first time in over ten years that I can’t find Fred somewhere inside my head. My inner writer has skipped out.

Of all the thefts and treacheries of cancer, this is the worst. Of all the other issues that bedevil me, this is the worst. My logical self knows Fred will be back once the drugs loosen their grip, maybe even sooner. My emotional self is, well, being emotional.

I hate this. Hate hate hate.

3 thoughts on “[cancer] Continuing fog, with reefs

  1. That’s exactly what writer’s block is like for me: I can read the best of my old stories thinking, “This is good work. How did I ever do it? I can’t imagine doing it again.”

    It’s undoubtedly the chemo. It’ll pass. For now, be pleased that you’re able to read and admire your old work. I always feel sorry for writers who can’t bear to look at their old stuff.

  2. Jason Block says:

    Just because you don’t really know what you did to make something doesn’t mean you can’t do it again, or at least something different but just as good.

  3. Cora says:

    I fully sympathize, it’s a horrible feeling to fear that your inspiration is gone for good.

    However, Fred will be back, once the chemo drugs are no longer in your system.

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