A fluctuating wellness

The New York Review of Books has an excellent new piece by Oliver Sacks where he describes the psychological effects of cancer treatment in terms of its effects on the ‘homeostasis of well being’.

The article weaves together the role of the autonomic nervous system, the progression of migraine and the repressions and releases of cancer treatment.

Indeed, everything comes and goes, and if one could take a scan or inner photograph of the body at such times, one would see vascular beds opening and closing, peristalsis accelerating or stopping, viscera squirming or tightening in spasms, secretions suddenly increasing or decreasing—as if the nervous system itself were in a state of indecision. Instability, fluctuation, and oscillation are of the essence in the unsettled state, this general feeling of disorder. We lose the normal feeling of “wellness,” which all of us, and perhaps all animals, have in health.

As you might expect it’s intricate, poetic and profound.
 

Link to ‘A General Feeling of Disorder’.

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