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Thread: NOOOOOO! Terry Pratchett diagnosed with Alzheimer's

  1. #1
    Elite Member twitchy's Avatar
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    Default NOOOOOO! Terry Pratchett diagnosed with Alzheimer's



    11th December 2007

    AN EMBUGGERANCE Folks,

    I would have liked to keep this one quiet for a little while, but because of upcoming conventions and of course the need to keep my publishers informed, it seems to me unfair to withhold the news. I have been diagnosed with a very rare form of early onset Alzheimer's, which lay behind this year's phantom "stroke".

    We are taking it fairly philosophically down here and possibly with a mild optimism. For now work is continuing on the completion of Nation and the basic notes are already being laid down for Unseen Academicals. All other things being equal, I expect to meet most current and, as far as possible, future commitments but will discuss things with the various organisers. Frankly, I would prefer it if people kept things cheerful, because I think there's time for at least a few more books yet )


    PS I would just like to draw attention to everyone reading the above that 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 maybe further off than you think - it's too soon to tell.
    I know it's a very human thing to say "Is there anything I can do", but in this case I would only entertain offers from very high-end experts in brain chemistry.
    Discworld News PJSM Prints

    Fuck. I hope he can hang on for a long time.

    I like the word 'embuggerance' though.

    "The howling backwoods that is IMDB is where film criticism goes to die (and then have its corpse gang-raped, called a racist, and accused of supporting Al-Qaeda)" ----Sean O'Neal, The Onion AV Club

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    Elite Member yanna's Avatar
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    That's so sad. I really hope things aren't really that bad. I love Pratchett.

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    Elite Member Aella's Avatar
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    Shit, that's terrible!
    "Remember to always be yourself. Unless you suck." - Joss Whedon

    "The only thing more expensive than education is ignorance." -Benjamin Franklin

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    Elite Member VenusInFauxFurs's Avatar
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    Damn, that's horrible! love him.
    When your daughter plays "House," she pretends to be an annoying doctor with a pill-addiction and a limp.

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    Silver Member SophieOrangeBerry's Avatar
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    Nooooo, what awful news I loves terry pratchett, i does. I hope he's gonna be alright
    Darling... Stop confusing me with your wishful thinking....
    Bang goes another kanga on the bonnet of the van...
    Too soon to be out of me bed

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    Elite Member Dixie Normos's Avatar
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    The upside is that he may not remember he's famous, and grant visitors/fans. I would LOVE to meet him, scattered or no. I just finished another one of his books 2 days ago...
    "In the face of the blinding sun, I wake only to find
    that Heaven is a stranger place than than one I've left behind." - SM

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    Elite Member Just Kill Me's Avatar
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    OMFG, NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My favorite book of all time is Good Omens.... OMG, NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Elite Member VenusInFauxFurs's Avatar
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    Good Omens is one of my fave books too. Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett = bloody genius!
    When your daughter plays "House," she pretends to be an annoying doctor with a pill-addiction and a limp.

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    Elite Member Honey's Avatar
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    Terry Pratchett has revealed that he has Alzheimer's disease.



    The best-selling fantasy author told fans he has developed a rare early onset form of the debilitating brain condition, which had caused an earlier stroke.

    On a website, he described the disease as "an embuggerance", but added: "I am not dead."


    And he joked that he would consider offers of help only from "very high-end experts in brain chemistry".

    Scroll down for more...
    'An embuggerance': Pratchett originally thought he had suffered from 'mini-strokes'





    Pratchett, 59, writes the fantasy Discworld series which has sold 55million copies. In 1998, he was awarded the OBE for services to British literature.

    On Discworld News, a section on the website of his illustrator Paul Kidby, he wrote: "Folks, I would have liked to keep this one quiet for a little while, but because of upcoming conventions and of course the need to keep my publishers informed, it seems to me unfair to withhold the news.

    "I have been diagnosed with a very rare form of early onset Alzheimer's, which lay behind this year's phantom 'stroke'.

    "We are taking it fairly philosophically down here and possibly with a mild optimism.

    "For now work is continuing on the completion of Nation and the basic notes are already being laid down for Unseen Academicals (works in progress).


    "All other things being equal, I expect to meet most current and, as far as possible, future commitments but will discuss things with the various organisers.

    "Frankly, I would prefer it if people kept things cheerful, because I think there's time for at least a few more books yet.

    Scroll down for more...
    Popular books: Making Money (centre) is the latest book from Pratchett



    "PS I would just like to draw attention to everyone reading the above that 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 maybe further off than you think - it's too soon to tell. I know it's a very human thing to say, 'Is there anything I can do?', but in this case I would only entertain-offers from very high-end experts in brain chemistry."



    Last year Pratchett told the Mail that he had been unaware that he had suffered a stroke until he had a brain scan.

    It showed that a stroke had been caused by a blood clot which created a blockage in the artery to his brain.

    Two or three years before the stroke was diagnosed, he had noticed "that his typing had been going all over the place", he said.

    At first he had put the errors down to ageing. However, Pratchett finally decided to see a doctor while working on a manuscript and felt as though he was "typing wearing gloves".




    When his GP asked whether he had suffered any memory loss, he said: "Not that I can recall."


    Pratchett lives with his wife Lyn, in Salisbury, Wiltshire. He has a daughter Rhianna, 39. The first Discworld novel was published in 1983, when he was working as a press officer.




    His first novel, The Carpet People, was published in a 1971 when he was just 23, but Pratchett decided to re-write it in 1992.
    Pratchett is the second most-read writer in Britain, after Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. He received an OBE for services to British literature nine years ago.
    His 20th book Hogfather, originally published in 1996, was adapted into a Sky TV mini-series last year and starred David Jason, Marc Warren and Nigel Planer.
    Christopher Lee, Tim Curry and Sean Astin are currently filming a TV adaptation of his first Discworld book, The Colour of Magic at Pinewood Studios, in which Pratchett cameos as an astrozoologist.
    His 2003 book The Wee Free Men is also being adapted for the big screen - Spider-Man film-maker Sam Raimi plans to release the movie version in 2010.
    Alzheimer's disease, first identified by the German neurologist Alois Alzheimer in 1901, is a physical disease affecting the brain. During the course of the disease 'plaques' and 'tangles' develop in the structure of the brain, leading to the death of brain cells.
    Although some drugs can slow its onset, there is no cure.
    More than 417,000 people suffer from Alzheimer's in Britain. Of all those diagnosed, only 3.5 per cent are aged under 65. Other famous Alzheimer's sufferers include former Prime Minister Harold Wilson, U.S. President Ronald Reagan, Irish novelist Iris Murdoch, 1940s movie star Rita Hayworth, Hawaii 5-0 star Jack Lord, The Ten Commandments actor Charlton Heston, Star Trek actor James Doohan, Death Wish star Charles Bronson and American boxing legend Sugar Ray Robinson.

    My battle with Alzheimer's, by fantasy writer Terry Pratchett, 59 | the Daily Mail

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    Elite Member MarieAntoinette's Avatar
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    That is really awful, judging from his books I would say that he is a very creative man, it must be horrible for him. He also isn't that old yet. All the best to Mr. Pratchett.

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    Elite Member viggofan's Avatar
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    Having a dad who suffered from alzheimer's for 11 yrs before his death I wouldn't wish this disease on any living soul. My heart goes out to him.

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    This breaks my heart, too. I'm sorry about your dad, viggofan.

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    Elite Member Novice's Avatar
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    His new book Nation is out here - has anyone read it yet?





    He's been in the media here talking about it & his message was "don't write me off yet - its still early"!!!
    Free Charmed.

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    Super Moderator twitchy2.0's Avatar
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    Update:

    I'm not beaten yet: Terry Prachett on the frustration and fury of Alzheimer's

    By Frances Hardy Last updated at 12:01 AM on 08th November 2008

    He can no longer drive and struggles to dress himself but Terry Prachett, creator of the cult Discworld books, refuses to be broken by Alzheimer's.

    Author Terry Pratchett has coined a word to describe the dementia with which he was diagnosed last year. He calls it an ' embuggerance', which deftly expresses his frustration at the encumbrance it represents. He recalls the fury and isolation he felt when he was told he had Alzheimer's: 'When Satan was cast into the pit of hell and raged at heaven, he was only a trifle miffed compared to how I felt that day,' he says. 'I felt totally alone, with the world receding from me in every direction.'

    Although he calls it a 'wretched disease', since disclosing that he has it, he has retained his dark sense of comedy. He began an address to his latest convention of fans by cracking a joke. 'I said, "Hello my name is..." Then I retrieved a crumpled piece of paper from my pocket and read out my name,' he recalls.


    Frustration and encumbrance: Terry Prachett described living with Alzheimer's as 'embuggerance'
    The audience laughed because Terry, afflicted by an illness that steals both memory and identity, was permitting them to do so.
    Until the day he 'came out', as he puts it, and announced he had a very rare form of earlyonset dementia called posterior cortical atrophy (PCA) - he had not then turned 60 - he was, of course, best known as an author. His most celebrated works are the comedy-fantasy Discworld novels - The Colour Of Magic, the film adaptation of the first book in the series, starring David Jason, has just been released on DVD.

    This year marks the 25th anniversary of the series, which sells in such prodigious number that Terry long ago stopped trying to keep a tally, but at the last count he'd sold 60 million books. But such literary milestones have been eclipsed by his personal story. When I broach the subject of his illness with a pointed, 'How are you?' he sighs a tad wearily.

    He's done nothing but talk about dementia, every permutation and implication of it, since September last year, and he's practically run out of things to say. 'I haven't for a moment regretted coming out, as it were, because it does look as if that's done some good,' he says. (He also donated 500,000 to research into the disease, thereby elevating awareness of it.) ' Nevertheless, it's amazing how I've ceased to become an author and have now become Mr Alzheimer's.

    'But to answer your question, I'm fine. I just had a test that showed I was pretty much the same as the last time I was tested. It cheers me to find the creative process still works: my last book, Nation, was definitely written by a bloke with PCA - I'd got halfway through it before I was diagnosed - and it got excellent reviews. I know it was good. That's not a boast. If it wasn't, I wouldn't have sent it to the publisher.'

    The illness has brought small, incremental changes. He has difficulties handling the practicalities of the physical world, but his loquacity, vocabulary and his fertile imagination remain undiminished.

    'I had to give up driving. That would be a big thing for most men, but I didn't bat an eyelid. It doesn't interfere with my core business. My wife drives; my PA drives; I can hire a cab. The real embuggerance is that my typing and handwriting are all over the place, and I sometimes lose track of spellings completely.

    'I also have the odd moment when my brain has to pause to sort things out. The quintessential one is the glass revolving door. I have to approach it very carefully. It's glass. It's full of reflections. It's coming towards me and going away at the same time. I have to wait for a second or two before I go through. But I'm still coherent on just about every news channel, just more and more tired as the day wears on. Which isn't what you'd normally expect from someone with dementia, but I was diagnosed very early.

    'If I didn't tell you anything was wrong, you'd have to know me very well indeed to tell anything was amiss. You'd probably have to watch me getting dressed. Retrieving a shirt sleeve that's been turned inside-out can be tricky.'

    He has told his fans, who are legion, worldwide and mostly women, that he wants to retain a sense of optimism and cheerfulness. 'But people still tend to come up and talk in hushed voices. I say, "We're not in church, you know."'

    They've also sent in ideas for cures. 'I once said I'd gnaw the a**e off a dead mole if I thought there was any science behind it. That provoked a response from a mole catcher from Somerset who had a more ethereal cure in mind. Lots of people have offered me all kinds of ideas, but I've said I'll only entertain offers of help from high-end experts in brain chemistry.'

    He is famously uxorious and has been happily married to his wife, Lyn, for 40 years. They have a daughter, Rhianna, 32, also a writer, and live in rural Wiltshire where they keep a well-stocked garden and chickens - Terry returns from cleaning their coop for our chat.

    I ask, what with his high proportion of women fans, whether he's ever been propositioned. He guffaws with laughter. 'Once,' he confesses. 'In another country. Proposition would be the wrong word, but unmistakable signals were sent and received. I thanked the nice lady concerned for her kind offer to "show me the town", but explained that I was moving on - I was on a signing tour.

    'That afternoon I dropped into a gardening shop and bought a thermometer for my compost heap. I'd always wanted one. I thought, "I've extricated myself from an awkward situation and bought a compost thermometer. I must be the most married man in the entire world."'

    He does not covet a starry, metropolitan lifestyle, and has obdurately resisted offers from Hollywood to adapt his books. Only two, Hogfather and The Colour Of Magic, have been made into films, both for Sky TV. 'The budget for The Colour Of Magic was about the size of Arnold Schwarzenegger's cigar bill,' he says. 'I could play around with the script and make suggestions. I wanted the Arch Chancellor's study to be dustier, so they got a dust machine and did what they call, "snotting up".'
    He is genial company and would probably have chatted until teatime had Lyn not called on the intercom to remind him about lunch.

    What are his hopes for the future? 'It's too early to say the war will be won because no one is talking about a cure. It's something like the treatment for HIV: you live with the disease to a decent age, and it's kept pretty much in check, and then you die.'

    Does he fear death? 'No, it isn't death that worries me,' he says. 'Everyone dies. I'd just quite like to be there when it happens.'
    I'm not beaten yet: Terry Prachett on the frustration and fury of Alzheimer's | Mail Online
    "If you are not outraged, then you are not paying attention," Heather Heyer's facebook quote.

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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Man,that is just sad.
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

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