How do you feel?

This morning I listened to a Zen talk. The speaker’s question was “How do you feel?”

 

I start off answering that I feel sad but quickly it gets more complicated.

 

I am so unbearably pissed at this cancer. The feeling in me that I thought was sadness is really rage. I will never write my best book, the one that everyone will remember. Cancer is taking that away. Right now this minute it is taking over chunks of my body and stealing my breath and looking for the fastest route to my brain where it will steal my stories and my memories and turn me into someone I’m not.

 

When I was diagnosed I had just finished writing, in an unreadable long hand, the first one hundred pages of a coming of age story. These pages are a mess, but when I finished them I didn’t care. I had made an effort not to censor myself as I searched for the voice, the theme, the core of the story. What I’m saying is that no one reading that first one hundred pages would think this was the best book I’ve written. But it is. Rather: in three years down the road it would have been.

 

And now I don’t get to write it. This fucking out-of-the-blue cancer is sucking away my energy and my hope and my happiness. It takes all I’ve got to hold together the pieces of my breaking heart.

 

Filed under Life Matters


12 Responses to “How do you feel?”

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  1. James Mann says:

    Dru,
    Shock, pain and profound sadness cannot even come close to how we are feeling on hearing the news. Please be assured that we are bombarding you with our thoughts and prayers.
    We love you,
    James and Doug

  2. Michelle Z says:

    I’m listening.

  3. Allan Buck says:

    Drusilla,
    Do not let cancer ruin the wondrous journey you have been on.
    You have written so much and you will be remembered by your words. Do not throw in the towel, continue on your journey and write, write and write. Let the world know the deepest thoughts at this time in the journey so your words can help others. Your best writing is still inside you, let it out…..put those words on paper by hand or by computer.
    As with others, my prayers are with you.

  4. Sharon Gilfillan says:

    You’re brilliant and oh so brave. Isn’t history written in reverse? Doesn’t it weigh what stands over time?
    Your writing will stand that test – will live to nourish others; to prod, probe, and please, others. My rage is still mired in the sadness of a hundred years. You can’t go. You have so so many who lay claim to you – so many beyond your very most cherished – one’s who call you teacher mentor sister and friend. I am one who’s life will not exist the same. The traffic lights still red and yellow and green defy the truth that the whole world is rocked, disordered and threatened.

  5. Dale Green says:

    Dru,
    Words do not describe how terribly sad I am in hearing your news. I so remember vividly the anger and violation of being told that I had cancer 7 years ago, my life flashing before my eyes, feeling that I had so much more to do. I can only tell you to fight, fight hard. No one has the right to tell you when you will die, only you get to do that. There are many stories of survivors that can give you hope, please reach out to those people for support and inspiration when you are ready. Many years have passed since I have seen you, but in my heart you have and always will be my sister-in-law. I love you and have you, Art and family in my prayers.

  6. Yvonne Nelson Perry says:

    Dru,
    We’re all praying for you…fight that bastardly coward called cancer and write that book you want to write. Please, please, please (the magic of three) try. Your work is worth it…every word. My heart goes out to you, with heartfelt aloha.

  7. Jackie Gray says:

    Dru, Those who have written before me have expressed thoughts I’ve been unable to voice. You and your diagnosis are in my thoughts.

  8. Carole says:

    You’re not dead yet bb. You may write TWO of the best damn novels ever written! Your book tours may take you around the world. TWICE. The future? Well it is still unwritten sweetheart. The next book you publish might have a brand new look at life from a prospective never anticipated or welcomed. Your world has shifted as has mine and those who love you. The next few months bring treatment, suffering, hope, love, faith and most certainly some laughter. Personally, I think rage is good. Rage is strong and fierce and violent. You need rage for a good fight. I say, bring it the fuck on!!!!! We will all have your back, each one of us with our own unique weapons to help you fight this cancerous foe. Some may be on the front lines with you while others may be best suited for Black Ops. You have a strong rageful Army of fighters around you. YOU WILL WIN this battle. This I am confident of. Then…..you will carry on. You will wash your face, fix your hair and pack your bag for your book tour. In addition, you will most certainly raise your Speaking Engagement Fees…….what a story to tell, eh? You have lots more living to do Drusilla. I know you do. Love falls short of how I feel about you.

  9. Dru– you have left many writers wordless with your news. I hope you find a path in this new reality that works for you and keeps you productive in ways that matter most now to your state of mind and body. With much love and respect, Laurel

  10. Your legacy of novels is quite outstanding. Don’t agonize over the “best book” – everyone will judge each of your creations by how they were touched by them. Spend time with those you love and give them lasting memories – people are more important than novels.

  11. John Mullen says:

    I don’t know if this will help you, but your support of San Diego Writers’ Ink has helped sustain an organization that helped me make my novel the best it could be. I believe that is true for dozens, if not for hundreds of other members of SDWI. Thank you.

  12. Elizabeth Katz says:

    Drusilla:
    I agree with many of your friends who commented above. Write that novel you’ve just begun! YOU don’t know how much time you have left, nor how WELL you will respond to the treatments. Continue with the passion you possess and continue writing. You owe it to yourself and to your audience!
    Love and (hugs),
    Liz Katz
    Tampa Kite Tales

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