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Lakeshore - [cancer] Coping skill blues
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Jay Lake
Date: 2013-03-23 05:27
Subject: [cancer] Coping skill blues
Security: Public
Tags:cancer, child, conventions, family, friends, health, jerseygirl, personal, radiantlisa, travel, work
As mentioned, I am having quite a good time at ICFA. At the same time, I'm having a lot of cancer stress. Wound up retiring a bit early last night and in a very touchy mood, through absolutely no fault of anyone here or elsewhere. Being me, I spent some time analyzing this.

For one thing, dinner last night, while being of excellent food and companionship, was rather a downer in that we spent a lot of time talking about cancer and genomics. That was one of the main points of the outing, to have the talk time, but it's never a topic that cheers me. At least not the cancer end of it.

Also, I am very much in a "Farewell Tour" mindset right now. This is probably not the healthiest approach I could be taking to things, but it's the one I've got at the moment. The likelihood that I will never get to do [x] again is quite high, for whatever value of [x] you care to name (ie, attend this event, see that person, and so forth), but it doesn't do me a lot of good to brood thusly. Regardless, that is what I seem to be doing.

Some of the folks in my life at home are getting cranky with me for hithering and yonning so much at the moment. I'm not seeing nearly enough of [info]the_child, Lisa Costello, Jersey Girl in Portland, Team E— [info]mlerules, Deb Stover, and my family members. From their point of view, they've been standing by me through thick and thin, and as soon as I feel a little better, I've headed for the high country instead of spending time with them.

They have a point. In the last three weeks I've been in Houston, Austin, Omaha and Orlando, and I'm going to Seattle next week. Forthcoming trips over the next two months include San Antonio, San Diego, San Jose and Omaha again. Plus several rounds of visits from out of town friends.

From my perspective, these trips are a collision of three different planning calendars (Day Jobbe, cancer care and writing events) with pent up demand on my part and others. If I don't make these trips now, I probably never will. See my "Farewell Tour" comment above. I'll be home soon enough, and grounded pretty much for the rest of my foreshortened life.

But that doesn't mean I'm not neglecting the people who love me.

Just one more damned thing to be pissy about. One more thing by which to be pulled in too many directions at once. One more twenty-pound pile of sand I'm trying to cram into an eight-pound bag.

It's hard to know when to serve my needs and when to serve the needs of my friends and family. It's hard to know what my needs are when they're in conflict. It's hard to know what to say when others grow unhappy with me, except to keep my own mouth shut when I'm feeling touchy because I don't want to say things I'll regret.

If I only had more time, all of this could be more spread out and I could pay proper attention everywhere. Ultimately, that is what cancer steals from me: time. Time to travel, time to live my writer life, time to love, time to pay attention.

Time.

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scarlettina: Cancer
User: scarlettina
Date: 2013-03-23 14:40 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Cancer
I absolutely understand the core group's feelings about your traveling. At the same time, I find myself wondering if they remember what your life was like before the cancer came--you traveled to Omaha every six weeks, you attended conventions regularly, and you were out of town a lot. This is life for Jay Lake. I'm not surprised in the least that while you're feeling healthy and able to do so, you want to resume the long-established pattern of your life, work, and writing. This is what feels normal to you.

It also occurs to me to wonder if this looks like a new pattern to the people who have only known you since or after the cancer onset. Those of us who have known you for years know that this is pretty typical Jay, and I, at least, am delighted to see you getting out and doing things. I know that Austin was cancer-related, but the rest of it looks pretty much like pre-cancer-Jay life to me.

Edited at 2013-03-23 02:40 pm (UTC)
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fjm
User: fjm
Date: 2013-03-23 15:11 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I am going out on a limb here, but if you are *going* to do a Farewell Tour, might it not be more Jay Lake to be Big and Brash and Spectacular about it? A t-shirt perhaps listing everywhere you intend to be, and things you are going to do?

And some of us are going to come to you and spend time with the people you love. I don't think I've ever met Lisa and I'm very much looking forward to it.

Sorry, not a hug and comfort post. More a Don't Go Gently... one.
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Lisa Costello
User: radiantlisa
Date: 2013-03-23 16:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
And I'm looking forward to meeting you!

And yeah - Big and Brash and Spectacular is exactly what Jay needs, so go forth, Jay dear, and have fun.
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Debbie N.
User: wild_irises
Date: 2013-03-23 15:12 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
What occurs to me about the time issue is that everyone is in that position of not having enough time; it's not like you have this very limited time to be Jay and they all have all the time in the world to get what they want from knowing and loving you.

I totally support your travel, not that it's any of my business to do so. I just feel like it might help to see that the scarcity is everywhere, not just in you.
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daveraines
User: daveraines
Date: 2013-03-23 15:36 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Yes. A really key insight, IMHO. There's a further question: given that restriction on time, how do you make decisions? One possibility: consider the portrait of your life as you would like it to be when it ends. Does the brushstroke you're about to make contribute to that picture? Of course the problem is there are so many brushstrokes that DO contribute; but which ones ought to be bold and thick? A metaphor pushed too far, but it's one that helps me.
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martianmooncrab
User: martianmooncrab
Date: 2013-03-23 18:37 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
it always comes down to time.

So when you come across that overly dressed rabbit, mug him for his pocket watch.
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Perdix: Buffy
User: perdix
Date: 2013-03-24 00:39 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Buffy
Like.
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a_cubed
User: a_cubed
Date: 2013-03-24 07:16 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
No, no, it's Harvey's Face that stops clocks, not his watch.


Oh, hold on, wrong "overly dressed rabbit" :-).
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martianmooncrab
User: martianmooncrab
Date: 2013-03-24 18:40 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
according to the movie, Harvey is a well dressed rabbit, and makes allowances in his hat for his ears.
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a_cubed
User: a_cubed
Date: 2013-03-25 00:52 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
rabbits typically don't wear clothes. Therefore, any rabbit described as wearing clothes is "over-dressed": Peter Rabbit (and sisters and mother), Alice's White Rabbit and Harvey.
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martianmooncrab
User: martianmooncrab
Date: 2013-03-25 04:06 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Ever since I read France's "Penquin Island" all animals are dressed.. it makes everything so much naughtier.
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