Hello! To many of you, welcome back! This is not the message for which you'd probably been waiting—I didn't finish the book, and I'm not resuming the blog. Instead, I'm dying.
(To those finding this blog for the first time—Hello! You're just as welcome to be here, and there are plenty of entries that aren't about my inevitable, imminent death, if you're not into that when you're trying to research Beethoven's deafness.)
We'd known early on that this could only be a short-term blog given how deadly cancer is when it hits Stage IV, especially in the brain. I kept going so long as I still had ideas—and I still do!—but the lesions in my brain have made it difficult to find the right words when writing, and the periods of lucidity between chemo cycles have gotten shorter and more painful. When it got to the point that I wasn't feeling any sense of recovery between chemo sessions, I declared my treatment over and asked to be given palliative care only. I'm living in hospice, responding to old friends, being visited by people I haven't seen in years, consuming more chocolate and coffee than I can handle (I'm working on that, for comfort's sake). My husband is taking leave from work and our son is off of school (which he would have been otherwise at this time of year), so ideally I'll get to die with them by my side.
I want to keep the possibility of the book alive, though it will take some work still, so no promises. I've had volunteer scholars offering to write a chapter or two starting from my instructions, but I'd have to create those instructions and work out all the legal issues in changing the very nature of the book that much, if we're even able to do it. It'd be great if my last contribution is something collaborative that shows a bit of structure behind how musicologists work, but right now, this is a dwindling possibility as I sleep more and more.
I didn't expect to be still alive so long after making the choice not to live, and even after I do finally physically go, it appears that I'll still have a presence in musicology. I know of an honor in the works to be named after me, and a few people of various types and interests have asked to interview me (and probably publish after I can't complain!). I'm going to be fine; meanwhile, my wonderful sister built a GoFundMe campaign to help support my husband (a self-employed freelancer) and my son (a six-year-old autistic boy) until the life insurance can do its job: gofundme.com/f/ae5ke-for-the-love-of-linda
You, the readers, my friends, have been more than generous in your compassion, enthusiasm, support, and other great qualities I'd been told not to expect from strangers on the internet. You are the special ones—not because of the music you listen to or the art you enjoy or the books you read, if any!, but because you make the decision each day to bring hope into someone else's life. That's you; please hold on to that admirable quality!
(I'll try to leave the comments open for a little while, but they've already been attracting spam, even when I delay posting. When the comments close for good, it will not be personal, just maintenance.)
I love you all!
Linda Shaver-Gleason, PhD Musicology