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As For Tomorrow I Cannot Say - 33 Years With Multiple Sclerosis - by Diana Neutze

As for Tomorrow
I Cannot Say:
33 Years with Multiple Sclerosis

A Book by Diana Neutze


I met Diana Neutze when her publicist wrote me. He found my website and wanted me to read and review her book.

Job changes and apartment moves kept getting in the way. But eventually the book turned up again. I'm pleased to list it on my website.

New Zealander Diana Neutze was in her late 20s, living in London with her husband and young son, when she discovered that she had multiple sclerosis.  More than three decades later, wheelchair-bound and largely confined to her Christchurch home, she has told her remarkable story.  Fiercely independent and passionately determined, she has fought the illness with every psychological and physical weapon in her armory.  As For Tomorrow, I Cannot Say is a tribute to the power of the human spirit.

Born and educated in Christchurch, Diana Neutze has a PhD in English and was for many years a tutor at the University of Canterbury. She is the co-author of Design for a Century:  A History of the School of engineering, University of Canterbury 1887-1987. Her poetry has appeared in Australian, American and New Zealand journals and her collection of poems, Unwinding the Labyrinth, was published in 1997.

What Others Have Said

          "I have written this, more than 40,000 words, with one finger in just over a month.  It has flowed out of me so fast, I can only conclude that I needed to tell my story." 
         — Diana Neutze

          "It's difficult to write of your own misfortunes without self-pity. It's also difficult to live with long illness without becoming self-centered. Diana Neutze's autobiography of multiple sclerosis, though, shows that both are possible. Neutze is a New Zealand poet and historian, who contracted MS in her 20s but who managed to teach at university, publish several books and travel overseas, in spite of continually having to adjust to physical degeneration. Given the unforgiving nature of her disease, Neutze's achievements show admirable strength of character, but read her book, and you'll quickly realize that, even better, her outlook is suffused with humor (often directed at her predicament), and an abiding interest in other people.  This humility lifts Neutze's book from being a mere chronicle of an illness, into a manifesto of spunk. As a chronicle, it is successful enough. Indeed, it illuminates the inner and outer lives of the multiple sclerosis victim with sensitivity and perception. Reading it, I felt privileged to be admitted to her private world, and grateful for her insights into life with a severe disability. It is attractively written, witty, interesting, and sprinkled with poetry--which makes a successful book by anyone's standards. But the best thing about this little book is that "victim" isn't part of Neutze's vocabulary. By the time you've finished it, you won't be surprised to learn that the manuscript was typed with only one finger in a single month!"
         — Janet Godfrey, Wanganui Newspapers,
              New Zealand, April 23, 2002

          "This book is a revelation and an inspiration. Also, it's often very funny. And that's not what you'd expect from a book detailing the ever-evolving effects of a terrible disease--multiple sclerosis. As For Tomorrow, I Cannot Say deserves to remain in print forever, as a classic resource.  It's a revelation, because Diana Neutze describes her life so frankly. Her style is colorful, individual and crystal clear.
          "In the past I've attempted to understand what MS is like from clinical books and conversations. Yet the physical and psychological experience always remained a mystery.  Now, Diana Neutze has opened her world and her heart to readers.  We're told her precise MS symptoms.  The strange, confusing neurological effects. The exact impact on her life and her psyche. Every MS patient has a unique version of the disease. Even so, anyone with a friend of relative with MS will find this honest book invaluable.
          "There's plenty of implicit advice about what is required of friends. Like listening, for instance. Like acknowledging an occasional cry of despair. Above all, the book is an inspiration. From the first disturbing symptoms in her 20s (diagnosed as hysteria), Diana Neutze has always tackled the illness with sharp intelligence, a sense of humor and a fearsome bloody-mindedness. The final impression is one of honesty, grace, courage and wisdom. This state of mind is hard won indeed. When the disease first went into remission, the world seemed infinitely beautiful and precious. Even putting out the rubbish seemed like a miracle. Diana Neutze swore never to lose that sense of wonder. Even now, wheelchair bound, she takes delight in her cat. . . a tree in blossom. . . sunlight through leaves.
          "This fiercely independent person was not patient by nature. But when patience became mandatory, she deliberately acquired that virtue. And using a well-trained brain, she figured out that if she behaved badly, nobody would want to visit her. When she was forced to spend many hours "doing nothing," she taught herself to treat time as a gift, an opportunity for contemplation. Among her lifelines now are yoga, meditation, literature, her cat, and a wonderful garden. A crowd of helpers enable her to remain in her home even now, when severely disabled. Throughout, Diana Neutze has made her own decisions.
          "Could anyone hold on to serenity in such circumstances? This gifted writer will surely find a way." 
         — Rachel McAlpine, Quality Web Content:

          "Diana's story of the rampaging journey of multiple sclerosis, during which she taught, tutored, and fought her illness with every weapon in her spirit, is a story of courage, determination and extraordinary creativity.  It is also a literary story, written in clear, lucid prose, with poetical insights, and humor."
         — Helen J. O'Neill, TAKAHe Literary Magazine
(Christchurch, New Zealand), Dec., 2001.

          "Reading this book was a little like being carried along by some unknown force.…In it Diana Neutze raises many of the issues with which people who have a chronic illness must wrestle. Loss of personhood; her dealings with the medical profession; the ways in which she had to modify her living; the response of those around her to her condition; the strategies and solutions that she used to overcome her problems; the desperate loneliness of her condition; her sources of enrichment; and the glorious ‘highs' she experienced during her remissions are all clearly articulated in this wonderful piece of writing."
         — Angela Allen, eremos Magazine
              (North Parramatta, NSW, Australia),
              www.eremos.org.au,  January, 2002.

As for Tomorrow I Cannot Say: 33 Years with Multiple Sclerosis can be purchased from Amazon.com.

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as for tomorrow i cannot say: 33 years with multiple sclerosis by diana neutze . . . as for tomorrow i cannot say: 33 years with multiple sclerosis by diana neutze