All things end, and so it is with TTSF.
I’m not exactly sure why, but it feels right to wrap up this project and make room for new things. Have I run out of things to say? I’m not sure that’s possible. I don’t intend to quit writing either.
The sort of writing I’m focusing on requires the lack of an audience. That sweet spot of honesty, shame and humor is transcendent when it’s unselfconscious.
I started this to feel visible and understood, to process my cancer in real time. Being in and out of hospitals is incredibly lonely. You are a body, the person takes a back seat.
These last four years have rocked me to my core. What I intended for my life is not to be, something that’s true for many of us. In my case it’s meant debilitating treatments and long stretches of trying to get back on my feet.
In the last twelve months alone I’ve endured three surgeries. I am coming to grips with what this means and what sort of productive life I can have. How I might face more.
The health care debate has felt intensely personal as omitting pre-existing conditions could be a death sentence for me. It isn’t just insurance, the cost of health care in America is insane and eating us alive. I don’t want charity (or advice), I want a system that values our lives and makes it possible to have access to meaningful care.
I don’t mean to sound gloomy. I have love in my life, supportive family, friends, an active and curious mind and the willingness to keep trying. But, I won’t put a rosy spin on cancer and its attendant problems. It’s had a devastating effect on my ability to work steadily.
The emotional toll is one rarely discussed. It’s disorienting to keep facing issues. At one point I couldn’t drive on the highway because of panic attacks. Anxiety is like a leak. You find the water in the basement, but it’s origin could be a crack in the roof. For a moment they seem unrelated, but the water winds its way as it will.
“Life is complicated. It’s filled with nuance. It’s unsatisfying, If I believe in anything, it is doubt.” Anthony Bourdain
I’d like to stay in touch from time to time. I’ve been asked to perform again, and I jumped at the chance. I might send notices about that, or pieces I’ve written, or maybe, a whole new project.
In the meantime, my sincere thanks for reading, sending me notes, and sharing your stories. Some of you became members which fills me with love and gratitude.