More Updates

Jo Clayton

News Update (13 April 1997)

by Mark and Elizabeth Bourne

Jo's fine (all things considered). On April 5th Elizabeth and I had a party at our house, and arranged for Jo to be there in her motorized wheelchair. She had a grand time, got a lot of attention (as well as non-hospital food), and made a True Friend in our new dog, Brandy.

The good news re Jo's health: she remains in good spirits and is actively writing, knitting, painting, and writing some more. She has more hair now than at anytime since the chemo began. Her electric wheelchair allows her a substantial amount of mobility, and she is able to remain sitting up in it for 2-4 hours at a time now. Perhaps a little more on good days.

Likewise, her energy level--physical and emotional--is stronger than anytime since I've met her. That's all an enormous improvement. She's been posting somewhat regularly in her SFRT topic on Genie, so that's a good place for ongoing updates and the usual Genie chatter to and from Jo personally.

The less good news: she recently was told that her new-bone growth has slowed to a stand-still. At last report, her doctors were unclear as to why. We have a call into her chief physician for details but haven't received a reply yet. So the possibility of Jo remaining bed- and wheelchair-bound for the rest of her life is a very real one.

It's too early to make any sort of long-term evaluation, of course, but the ews that the meds aren't working as well as hoped has been a blow--especially to Jo, naturally. She's being smart, informed, and philosophical about it (that's just how she is), though I know that it has caused her some amount of emotional distress. A lot of future-planning and hopes have been postponed, if not permanently closed off.

Still, she's aware that as a writer who has proven that she can continue to work in any position under any circumstance, she will be able to produce and keep herself from sinking into the emotional mire she has witnessed in so many of the hospital roommates she's seen come and go over the past eight months.

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