Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Donna Trussell: On Cancer & Scott

NOVEMBER, the time of 'Thanksgiving' and the beginning of winter chills.
It is also the last month, in 2006, when Scott was capable of writing and posting
in his blog.

November 21, 2006 was the date of Scott's last post.
Kim was kind enough to keep it up and running after their visit to Salt Lake City late November
for Thanksgiving, keeping his 'blog followers' up-dated, until and after Scott's death.


On this day two years ago, Scott was still alive, though weak, our Mom was in the Hospital
fighting her own health issues, as she continued to hope and fight for a miracle for him.
None of us knew what we know now--
That Scott would pass away one month later, on December 20, 2006
and that our dear Mother would follow him a mere three weeks after.

All of these dates, memories are cemented in my mind, forever.
Since that time, I have had the honor of meeting some incredible people;
People who have blessed and touched my life in ways that far exceed my understanding.

One, is Donna Trussell.
Her life has also been altered by Cancer.

My thanks to her for this and many other things.


[Please refer to Donna's blog for her post: Cancer Doesn't Care]

Donna Trussell
Poetry, fiction, cancer. Oh, and monsters from the id.

October 21, 2008 at 6:00 pm donnatrussell

Some excerpts form Sheri’s brother’s blog entry dated October 20, 2006.
(Scott Swaner was a poet, teacher and translator. He died of pancreatic cancer just two months after he wrote this.
He was 38 years old.)

By Donna Trussell

"Cut out all forms of social enjoyment. All forms that any other would understand.
And onliness (the state of being alone) results….Loved ones, friends, family are all excluded thereby, all left out cold, all left in their community, the one I’m slowly being ostracized from….No person has ordered my expulsion, no gods are angry,
rather the mindless dice of the universe, thrown by an agent with no hands,
brought by a messenger with no legs, conveyed and explained by a deaf mute diplomat….

Cancer is the capitalism of the body. It grows unchecked, until at some point it will eliminate itself by eliminating its host, its own means of production —
me / I will die at the hands of Capital as metaphor….

What is new that becomes appealing, a list:
Warmth. Absence of pain, dumbly of course and too plain.
Fantasy, a novel by Tolstoy or Balzac or Zola with the long drawn-out pans of whole swaths of society as means of escape….
To distract the mind from the Real….
To be another escape from all the necessities, the so many little must-do’s;
from pills to calories to soap and water to last-“minute” legal paperwork
like wills & DNRs to maintaining salary to “finishing” a number of professional tasks that alternate on given days from more to less important….

What else that’s new: small moments, looking elsewhere, rain through a window,
a comfortable silence, bits of sleep without dreams.
A recent one [dream] though, where I am to be tending an old friend’s young child,
who is helpless without me, and I am intensely aware of how much depends on me,
but it’s all I can do to keep myself awake and responsible and watchful and caring
and protective. My own inability to stay awake — in the middle of sleep —
keeps me from being a good babysitter.
Stuck in this unwaking state with my friend and his wife’s expectations resting heavy upon me, heavy like the sleep upon my eyelids.
The child alone with me. A nightmare but still a dream."

--Scott H Swaner

*used with permission
Scott H Swaner family foundation fund*

[posted by Donna Trussell from her blog: DONNA TRUSSELL Poetry, fiction, cancer]