I have the privilege today of sharing with you all a couple of extracts from The Love Virus by Eleni Cay. Written in verses, it draws on Eleni’s personal experience of Multiple Sclerosis, which has strongly marked her young adult life. Thank you so much Eleni for allowing me to share these extracts.
When Katie finds out that her increasingly unresponsive legs and extreme fatigue is due to Multiple Sclerosis, she rides an emotional rollercoaster – anger, denial and fear – when faced with a wheelchair-bound existence. She puts her studies at Oxford on hold, and she splits up from her fiancé, Mark, even though she still loves him. While undergoing treatment, Katie is diagnosed with MS2 – a virus that paralyses the mind. In hospital, Katie has to cope with her irritating bedfellows who argue constantly, and where she is treated by Dr Andrews, a handsome psychologist. The closer she gets to him however, the worse her pain becomes. Compounding Katie’s struggle is Mark, who returns to her bedside day after day. Once Katie begins Dr Andrews’ new experimental MS2 treatment, Mark can’t recognise her anymore. He begins to wonder if Katie will ever be cured.
You can find out more about Eleni and her writing on her website where you will also find links to purchase a copy of her book.
‘Deep love doesn’t reside in the universal.
Deep love is local.’
Markos gives Philippa a big kiss on her forehead.
‘Deep love, my dear friends, is about the authentic details
that you create with your partner
as you cook and enjoy your life together.’
‘When you trade the heart as a commodity,
then you can do that with any other organ,
any human. Any island, any country.
Any home becomes a sellable property.’
I remembered how dad took me to
a jazz club once. He liked blue notes
and he liked this song.
He couldn’t stand mum’s cheesy pop.
Too smooth for him.
He liked the dissonance.
Not jarred jazz, but a blue note
here and there,
that can bring the whole song
to another level.
Perhaps this whole
Multiple Sclerosis thing
was one of those blue notes.
It added some novelty to the ordinary,
some new vocabulary we all had to learn,
something new for friends to Facebook
and to Tweet about.
Some modifications to my diet,
to my personalised Google ads.
Some changes to my thinking,
to my love life …