Alzheimer’s. I cannot think of a word that strikes more dread into my heart. Alzheimer’s is tragic for anyone who is affected, but doubly so for those whose lives are entrenched in brainy creativity. Scientists, artists, inventors, and especially writers. Although it’s a childish fantasy, I wish highly-creative types could somehow be exempt.
I felt punched in the gut today when I read that Terry Pratchett has been diagnosed with a rare form of early-onset Alzheimer’s. I just spent the past year working my way through every Discworld novel he’s written and like millions of his fans everywhere, I’ve been looking forward to many more.
In a statement released by Pratchett he says, “Frankly, I would prefer it if people kept things cheerful, because I think there’s time for at least a few more books yet.” With his wry humour obviously intact, he says about the situation, “This should be interpreted as ‘I am not dead’. I will, of course, be dead at some future point, as will everybody else. For me, this may be further off than you think — it’s too soon to tell.” “I aten’t dead” is a sign that his witch Granny Weatherwax affixes around her neck when she goes “borrowing” and appears dead to someone on the outside.
He further states that he is continuing his work and plans to complete his current commitments to his publisher. My fingers are crossed that there may yet be the promised third Tiffany Aching novel.
Selfish wishes aside, I wish the best to Terry, his family, and his friends. My hope is that with state-of-the-art medications and treatments, he may continue to live and enjoy his delightfully creative life for years to come.