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Jay Lake
Date: 2008-05-05 21:06
Subject: [cancer] Wrapped in loving arms
Security: Public
Location:Nuevo Rancho Lake
Music:house noises
Tags:cancer, child, health, personal, religion
I was reflecting today on a somewhat odd experience I had with IVs in both hands. This is due in part to Henry the Hematoma with which one of my IVs gifted me across the back of my left hand. I can remember sitting in the hospital feeling strangely comforted by their embrace. The IVs tied me to the bed, kept me whole when I was allowed no food for two days, brought me blood and water. They were proof that Medical Science Had Taken Me Up.

When it came time to remove them, I was slightly regretful. Being home now, waiting for the upcoming surgery, I am on my own. The hospital isn't wrapped around me. Instead I have lasirenadolce, the_child, my parents, my siblings, my aunts, kenscholes and karindira, each taking their turn holding me — literally or figuratively. But in this world, the real world, no one has taken me up. I am my own man, with a monster in my gut.

A few folks have asked if I mind them praying for me. This is a courtesy, given that most people are aware of my staunch atheism. My response has been, "I know what prayer means to you, and that means a lot to me. Please, do." At this point I'm aware of four Christian congregations and a Buddhist temple praying for me.

I've also been asked if I want to "get right with God" before I go into the surgery. That was a sincere question from someone I like, so all I said was, "God and I are fine." Which is true. He never calls, He never writes, but then neither do I. Meanwhile my relentless empiricism researches cancers and cures, while my underlying logic makes contingency plans and contemplates shaving my arms. I'm right with the world, that's more than good enough for me.

On another note, the_child and I were discussing the cancer yesterday morning, before I lit out for the coast with the redhead. She wanted to know that if they were cutting away part of the inside of my butt, what about the ants? The ants, I asked? Yes, how cancer moves around your body like ants in a yard.

I told her that as far as we knew, metastasis hadn't happened yet. She opined in that case this surgery would be like cutting out the anthill before the fire ants got out.

So yes, my daughter, they're going to cut the anthill out of my ass. All while I'm wrapped in the loving arms of my family, friends and the world. That includes you guys reading and commenting here, very much so.

Tomorrow: what kateyule has done for me, brilliantly.
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User: jimvanpelt
Date: 2008-05-06 04:27 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
If prayers weren't real, we would feel compelled to make them up because praying for someone feels so much better than the alternative, which is living with the knowledge that there isn't anything anyone other than your doctors can really do.

It's certainly the definition of helpless to be out here in Colorado knowing that I can't help.

If "You are in my thoughts" helps, you are, Jay. Stay strong, bud.
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dinogrl: Nemo butt
User: dinogrl
Date: 2008-05-06 04:31 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Nemo butt
I like "cutting the anthill out of my ass" better than "my hat is full of poop". I hate hats of that nature. And NO, I don't want to talk about my familiarity with that particular 'asshat'.

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ferragus: Sweet
User: ferragus
Date: 2008-05-06 04:47 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Having done the hospital bit a few times I am more then qualified to say: Shave your bod!

Arms - yeah cause it is really annoying to keep getting your arm hair ripped out for this or that line.

Legs - same really.

Chest - Very high on my ick factor is getting home and finding that there's two leads (as in vital monitor leads) still stuck to the hair on your chest. Even shaving won't get it all off then.

May sticky leads be the worst of your problems in the days to come!
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Gigi Gridley
User: gigica
Date: 2008-05-06 04:58 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
*face palm*

See, now I have this image of your butt as a home for wayward fireants...and I'm sure that's just not right.

Sending many happy thoughts your way, my friend. Be well, or I'll kick you in the ant hill :)
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Twilight: WalkWithMe
User: twilight2000
Date: 2008-05-06 05:15 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
And I'll add "eclectic pagan" and "Reiki" for more coverage :>.
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Leah Cutter: iPod Cthulhu
User: lrcutter
Date: 2008-05-06 05:17 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:iPod Cthulhu
You're in my thoughts as well, Jay. I am firmly believing that all is going to be well, and I keep telling the universe that too. Take care.

::virtual hugs::
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User: anghara
Date: 2008-05-06 05:28 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
"So yes, my daughter, they're going to cut the anthill out of my ass."

Oh, God, the mind reels in a number of unpleasant directions...

Nonetheless I do wish you a safe anthillectomy, and a rapid and complete recovery therefrom...
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Rose Fox
User: rosefox
Date: 2008-05-06 06:43 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I think the proper medical term is formicariumectomy.
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User: thecrimsony
Date: 2008-05-06 05:34 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I don't pray much anymore, but I do think positive thoughts and I'm sending a bunch everytime we get an update. Hang in there!
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Keffy: moping Alex
User: kehrli
Date: 2008-05-06 05:40 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:moping Alex
I don't have anybody I'd pray to, but I'll be thinking of you anyway.

(I'll also be trying to think of something to do to the Escapement release that will top a book zeppelin...)
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Maximum of Indolence: change
User: naomi_traveller
Date: 2008-05-06 05:59 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I just wanted to post and say I am thinking good thoughts for you. And also I have a friend who had the same type of cancer, caught it early on, had the same surgery, and is four years on cancer-free and counting.

One of the post surgery perks that I recall is that she *had* to eat small packets of potato chips. It was a dietary requirement that she eat enough potato chips.

Wishing you a speedy recovery.
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User: biomekanic
Date: 2008-05-06 14:09 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Ice cream for tonsils and potato chips for your ass?

The world is a strange place.
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Peter Hollo
User: frogworth
Date: 2008-05-06 06:10 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
We all love you Jay. I'm not praying for you either, but as has been expressed here, you're in my thoughts. Which is really the same thing.
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jeffsoesbe: yeff yahoo avatar
User: jeffsoesbe
Date: 2008-05-06 06:25 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:yeff yahoo avatar
Speaking of readers/commenters, a question: Are you willing to post a high-level schedule of what will be happening with you and when? Something like "Tuesday: consult", "Thursday May X: surgery", "Fri-Sat: recover".

Mainly just so people know when to send extra amounts of good thoughts your way!

Keep up the good spirits!

- yeff
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2008-05-06 12:53 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Yes, I am. I just don't know it yet...
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Lisa Deutsch Harrigan: Flashing Tink
User: lisa_marli
Date: 2008-05-06 06:35 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Flashing Tink
You are one of the reasons I'm making a Reiki box. Will it help? It might. It won't hurt. If nothing else knowing all these people care about you definitely couldn't hurt.
Positive thoughts/prayers/energy from others has actually been proven to help.
We all embrace you in our own way.
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Abbie Hilton: one of those days
User: fenrah
Date: 2008-05-06 06:46 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:one of those days
Hi, Jay. I'm an anesthesia student here at OHSU. I'm really sorry to hear about your illness. Your humorous attitude is inspiring, but I know surgery is always scary. You probably already understand the process thoroughly. I'm trying to think of anything useful I can tell you. If you're in pain, don't be shy about asking for meds.
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Jay Lake: jay-electrode
User: jaylake
Date: 2008-05-06 12:56 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thank you. Truth be told, it's the anesthesia that scares me more than the surgery itself. (A case of knowing a little too much yet not nearly enough about anesthesia, basically.) I have somewhat idiosyncratic responses to anesthesia, and will be asking Dr. Herzig for a pre-op anesthesiology consult.

Well, the cancer scares me too, but we're doing what we can about that.
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User: yourbob
Date: 2008-05-06 06:51 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It's good your having to take it easy a bit right now, because once they cut the ants out of your pants, you won't be wanting to run around frenetically quite so much. Right?
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