Jay Lake (jaylake) wrote,
Jay Lake
jaylake

[cancer|process] Fatigue and writing

Sold some stories yesterday. I'll announce when things are fully official, but I placed a linked quintet of shorts with an upcoming antho, and sold another short to a print periodical. Happy days.

Meanwhile, writing fails to continue. This is turning into a real issue, one with bifurcated roots.

Sleepfail again last night, as two nights ago, does not help. Lately I've lost control of my sleep feedback loop and either sleep 8.5-10 hours (usually with the help of Lorazepam, which makes me crazy — I detest any sense of chemical dependency in myself) or 5-7 hours. In other words, too much or too little. Oversleeping leaves me logey and slow. Undersleeping leaves me exhausted and wired in all the wrong ways. Naps help, but as I said, I've lost control of the process just now.

In a larger sense, increasingly deep fatigue is a cumulative effect of my chemotherapy. (As previously noted, some effects are episodic, some are continuous but essentially flat, and some are cumulative.) Add that to the stress of serial medical crises over the past eight weeks (my bad cold, Mother of the Child's hospitalization, tillyjane's hospitalization), and I've pretty much run out spoons in a system sense. Just getting through the workday is a major achievement now. My 3-4 pm writing time has all but collapsed, as has my alternate 3-4 am writing time.

This is completely unacceptable, but damned hard to fight. For one thing, I have contracted deadlines I need to meet. Yes, I have some room to negotiate, but one of my cardinal rules is don't miss deadline. Reliability is a big part of how I've made my way in the field thus far. Furthermore, those deadlines exist for a reason, and it's not simply to give me something to angst about in the midst of chemotherapy.

So I'm caught between my bone-deep professionalism, my need to write, and my wretchedly unreliable body. No answers yet except sheer force of will, but if I can have an open (ie, non-infusion) weekend without a medical crisis (for the first time in two months!) I can make up a fair amount of ground.

Grr.

Tags: cancer, health, personal, process, writing
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