The Monk gives two authors a lot of grief about their rather bloated fantasy series -- Robert Jordan and George R.R. Martin. Jordan's series became extra convoluted in book 7 of the projected 12, and books 8-10 were subpar (although the ending of book 9 proved that "he's still got it") after knockouts in books 1-5 and a tremendous ending to book 6. Unlike Martin, who took FIVE years to write PART of book four, after finishing books 1-3, Jordan has maintained a steady book per two years pace since the first few in his Wheel of Time series. The Monk had heard Jordan's health was not good, and the pictures of Jordan that I've seen from a few years ago made it a shock to learn he's only 58 now. I didn't realize the scope of Jordan's situation.
Jordan has a rare blood disease, amyloidosis (unsure of what exact type). An untreated case will means a prognosis of about 12 months. With treatment, the patient has an average of four years on his or her clock. Jordan has chronicled the course of his disease on his blog at Dragonmount. Recently, his Lambda Light Chains marker test (which detects the severity of the amyloidosis) was down to 2.7 LLCs. The average person's test is between 1 and 3. Jordan had been at 75 and 96 -- in other words, his treatment has had some positive effects. The Mayo Clinic has been his treatment facility. The article linked to this post (click title) describes the fan reaction, including some who volunteered their bone marrow to Jordan.
Nonetheless, Jordan's strength does not even come close to what it once was -- he writes 2 or so hours daily, as opposed to a former 8+ hour workday. If he can finish book 12 of The Wheel of Time, it will be in 2008 for 2009 publishing, a four-year spread after book 11. His "About the Author" blurb on all his books state that he plans to keep writing "until they nail shut his coffin."
Unlike many of Jordan's fans, I've lost interest in The Wheel of Time because I had no use for books 7, 8 and 10. I would only hope that book 12 lives up to the promise of books 1-5. But no matter what else happens, I'm hoping that the time to nail shut Jordan's coffin is a long way away.
All the best from us at The Key Monk.