Chemo-Brain v The Word Warrior

writer can't think of what to write

Last Updated on June 5, 2023 by ADMIN-TOM

I know, dear reader, the title sounds like a poor man’s B Movie attempt at beating Marvel’s Superhero stories. Well, it is a very real battle between me, my ability to write, and my chemotherapy induced inability to write.

Like many writers, I’ve always known I had a book in me waiting to come out. Since I started publishing my own work, I’ve discovered I had twenty-four books in me with three others almost finished. Ideas were never a problem. Writing was never a problem, finding time to write was always a problem. It wasn’t until I retired that I had more time to write and indeed my best work (in my humble opinion) The Brittle Saga Trilogy was written after my retirement.

But then the disaster of cancer struck and in the last year I’ve carried on writing, but in a very limited way. Tiredness, feeling bloody awful most of the time, the impact of chemotherapy (how to poison your own body in one easy lesson) and chemo-brain made my writing slow and difficult. During all this it was the chemo-brain that acted against my writing the most. It leaves your thinking processes up the river without a paddle. Sitting down to write something new was a no-no. I hadn’t the brain power to think of anything new, my brain was turning to sludge. It was my worst nightmare come true. Chemically induced writer’s block.

What to do?

Time, they say, heals. Well, that seems to be true. Since I stopped my chemo about two months ago, my writing has picked up. I even managed to write 1,500 words in the early hours of yesterday morning.

But, and yes, there is a big but, I now seem to have trouble sleeping, and I’m constantly tired. I wake up in the morning tired. After coffee and breakfast, I have a nap for an hour. After lunch I have a nap. By the time bedtime arrives, usually around 10pm, I’m tired… yet at that point, I cannot sleep. It’s 00:35 in the morning here in Cyprus and I’m wide awake. I won’t get back to bed until around 02:00 and even then, I won’t sleep for a while.

Am I tired? You bet I am, absolutely shattered. My body seems to be getting itself back to normal very slowly and that seems to be causing changes in my sleep pattern. At the height of my cancer v chemo battle I slept like a log all night and part of the day. Now it’s all in reverse, and I’m exhausted.

As with the cancer battle, before I became a survivor, I had to grit my teeth and get on with life. Now, the cancer battle is mostly over, with top up treatment every two months, but the new battle is to get back to fitness, put some weight on and get back to a normal life… which includes sleeping!

Onwards and upwards, dear reader, onwards and upwards.

Copyright © Tom Kane 2023

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