Writing the last parts of the book is a struggle. I’m loving the process, but I’m stuck in the phase where I feel like I’ll never finish. So far, I have completed 32 chapters and have 8 in progress and 6 in waiting.
In the midst of trying to find the inspiration to keep moving forward, I received the requisitions for my annual chest x-ray and blood work to check and make sure that I am still cancer free. I think this may be the motivation that I have been seeking.
Every year, when I go for these tests, I go through the same fear period of worrying that I might be sick again. Added to that are the memories and feelings that resurface from the experience of having cancer at 18 years-old. It’s a pensive, thoughtful and emotional time for me.
I dreamed the story for The Death House up when I was in the hospital during my chemo treatments. The idea stemmed from my loneliness and isolation in quarantine as I went through the trauma of losing my hair. I had caught a fever and a cold and was too ill for treatment, so I was quarantined for a week at the Renfrew Hospital. This was in March 2003 during the SARS outbreak. It goes without saying that it was a scary time for a cancer patient with no immune system who ended up catching a cold. Thankfully, it was just that: a cold.
I think the emotions that come with these memories are the exact ones that I need to use as inspiration to finish writing these last 14 chapters.
Ready. Set. Go.