Jo Clayton

15 February 1939-13 February 1998

News Updates (This is old "news" now, but for those who weren't able to read it as it happened, here is the story of her last 18 months.)

Autumn 1996

Science fiction and fantasy author Jo Clayton is being hospitalized in Portland, OR, after having been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a very aggressive cancer of the immune system plasma cells (similar to leukemia or lymphoma). The myeloma begins in the bone marrow and spreads throughout the body via holes eaten through the bone mass.

Jo is responding well to chemotherapy, though the seriousness of her condition will keep her hospitalized at least until December, probably longer. Jo has been long known to her friends as a fighter, and this remains the case. Her spirits are high and her attitude is extraordinarily strong. She continues to work as much as possible, having recently finished the second book in her "Drums" trilogy while on her back with an IV in her arm. "Drums III" is now underway.

She is touched by the amount of attention she is receiving from the fan and writer communities. It's been a real boost to her attitude. She emphasizes that this whole experience has been a source of important good for her in a larger context. "I've been having a glorious time in lots of ways." Thanks chiefly to the unexpected flood of cards, email, and other contact with well-wishers, fans, and friends (many of whom she never knew existed), she plans to lead a "new life" when she is out of the hospital and able to lead her life again. "I will be a butterfly," she said. She plans to get out more, socialize with friends old and new, and enjoy more activities than she did before this crisis, this "fortunate fall," as she called it. "There's so much to look forward to that I feel good."

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