It's been a week of extremes — a manic depressive kind of week. It started with confirmation that my wife, Joy, has a recurrence of her cancer. This is her fourth cancer. The oncologist used the term chronic disease for the first time. The realization that she had not whipped this disease and most likely never would was a blow to both of us. Over the years since the first occurrence we've always held that hope. And she seemed to be doing so well.
The manic portion of the week was the news that I'm a finalist in the Writers of the Future contest; one of eight people from a field of hundreds if not thousands internationally who submitted their work. The contest is probably the largest for unpublished SF and fantasy writers. The honor is amazing. This is the culmination of nine years of concerted effort since I retired and of writing part time since I was ten; a moment some 50 years in the making. Joy was happy for me and glad for some good news. Then we got back to the business of cancer.
Cancer consumes everything — time, money, energy and ultimately the life of the sufferer. I don't begrudge her any of the time, money or energy. I only wish we could still believe we had the luxury of time. Both victim and family become engulfed in the disease nearly to the exclusion of all else. It's hard to plan your life around treatments, side-effects and changes in the disease itself. Even a brief trip for our anniversary is on hold until we know when the latest round of treatments will take place and what the follow-ups will be. I get away from moment to moment with my writing. Within the worlds I've constructed, I have some control.