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[cancer] The Door That Never Opens Twice - Lakeshore
An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2008-05-08 05:01
Subject: [cancer] The Door That Never Opens Twice
Security: Public
Location:Nuevo Rancho Lake
Mood:afraid and pretending not to b
Music:morning sounds
Tags:cancer, child, personal, portland
Well, I'm on clears today. Last night was my last normal meal for, oh, quite a while. So I organized a family dinner at De Nicola's.

lasirenadolce was back in Tacoma for some much-needed R&R, and kenscholes couldn't make it, but pretty much all the rest of the Portland family loop were there — the_child and her mother, Mom and Dad, tillyjane and her retrostepson S— (yes, we're a Southern family, why do you ask?), lillypond and her friend C—. as well as the Niece, my aunt M—, karindira and Youngest Daughter. We were a mob in the back room, the dinner culminating with a dramatically architectural cake baked by the_child. I believe there are photos somewhere, but I no got them.

Amazingly I am still sleeping well, though tonight will be the killer. I am waking up quite early, and as I said yesterday, my world feels very narrowed.

Anent the Big Fear, I'm down to two right now. There's the one which crosses over into rational fear, about playing an endless, downhill game of whack-a-mole with a metastatizing cancer. While's that's possible, to all clinical indications it seems unlikely. It still dogs me.

The other is my unreasoning fear of general anaesthetic. I'm not even too crazy about sedation. I have my pre-op anaesthesiology consult today, and I will be rational, thoughtful and attentive, but by tomorrow morning the snakes in my gut will be the size of a sewer pipe coming out of my rib cage. I felt this way before I had my septum fixed back in 1999, and was fine. Like I said, unreasoning fear. Big Fear.

Still, the true terror for me is not dying. Oddly, I seem to be able to accept that possibility, slight as it is, with an almost eerie calm. The true terror is dying without waking up first, and being unable to say good-bye. So to manage that part of the Big Fear, I am writing some sealed letters today, which I will make a ceremony of shredding, or possibly burning, when this is all over. Just so my voice can be heard by my daughter, my parents, everyone else whom I love, one last time should I somehow manage to pass through the Door That Never Opens Twice.

I am brave today. Tomorrow immediately before the surgery I shall almost certainly be a gibbering craven. The day after that I will still be alive, and I will have won. Someday soon we shall all laugh together.
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timalyne: chalice glow
User: timalyne
Date: 2008-05-08 12:17 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:chalice glow
Thinking of you, Jay. Good luck and brave happy thoughts from here.
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User: ex_benpayne119
Date: 2008-05-08 12:36 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
All the best, man.
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Kelly Green
User: saycestsay
Date: 2008-05-08 12:39 (UTC)
Subject: machines that go "Ping!"
See you soon, at the BarCon nearest. And you can regale us with stories of dangerous macaroni!
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User: joycemocha
Date: 2008-05-08 12:41 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'll be praying for you tomorrow morning--as I have been.

I share your fear of anesthesia. I've never had a full general, but with my asthma, and idiocyncratic reactions to medication--it scares the heck out of me. OTOH, if you went through the sedation for the colonoscopy okay, you'll probably be just fine for the general stuff. Maybe. I think they put DS all the way under for his scope, and when they do mine this summer--I don't want to be awake for it. Really. Sigmoidscopy was bad enough.

I think your preparations are smart, though. One never knows.

Hopefully, they'll let your sweetie into the recovery room. DH didn't settle very well until they brought me in--if you can make arrangements to do that, that can be a good thing.
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Mark Teppo
User: markteppo
Date: 2008-05-08 12:43 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Good thought vibes from me, too, Jay. You've been on my mind a lot this last week, and I hope the procedure is all so routine and uninteresting that they send you home early.
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oracne - Victoria Janssen
User: oracne
Date: 2008-05-08 12:49 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thinking good thoughts!
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User: jess_ka
Date: 2008-05-08 12:50 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:polarbearlove
You are a wise and wonderful and extraordinary human, Jay, and all will be well. *hugses*
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Deborah Biancotti
User: deborahb
Date: 2008-05-08 12:52 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Hang in there, buddy! Can't be brave unless you're afraid...
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User: ellameena
Date: 2008-05-08 12:55 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
That's not an irrational fear. It happened to one of my mother's friends. If the letters, etc. make you feel better, then do it, but I hope you don't put too much energy into it. We can all be hit by the proverbial bus any time. I've been through general anaesthesia twice and it was no biggie.

Write your letters, hug your family, and chill out with a movie and some popcorn-flavored water. It will be over before you know it.

As for the metastasis, that is something you need to worry about later. Lots of people play whack-a-mole with peekabo cancers. There's an art to it. :-)
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Jennifer Jackson
User: arcaedia
Date: 2008-05-08 12:55 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thinking of you.... praying for you.... and all that goes with it.
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Gary Emenitove
User: garyomaha
Date: 2008-05-08 12:58 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
We hope the dinner last night was fabulous and we look forward to dining with you in person again very soon. (Doctor: "Mr. Lake, everything is fine, you're completely cured. Just one thing. You may never eat pizza again." OH NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!)
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Matthew S. Rotundo: Me with bird
User: matthewsrotundo
Date: 2008-05-08 13:04 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Me with bird
We'll just have to switch to calzones, then.

Looking forward to your full recovery, Jay.
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Amy Sisson
User: amysisson
Date: 2008-05-08 13:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
We'll all be thinking of you tomorrow!
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Laura Anne Gilman: dandelion break
User: suricattus
Date: 2008-05-08 13:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:dandelion break
The letters sound like an excellent idea. Burning afterward has a nice ritual feel to it, but I'd suggest running them through a shredder -- there's something modern-world soothing about the sound...

Will be thinking calming and healthy thoughts in your direction at the appropriate time...
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Twilight: Nachthexen
User: twilight2000
Date: 2008-05-08 14:41 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Nachthexen
Shred them for the modern feel -- then burn the bits for the ritual aspect :>.
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User: khaosworks
Date: 2008-05-08 13:11 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
All hopes. I'll see you at Worldcon.
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it's a great life, if you don't weaken: comic tick ninjas hedge
User: matociquala
Date: 2008-05-08 13:15 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:comic tick ninjas hedge
Tomorrow, you will be in crisis coping mode, and making the anesthesiologist laugh. Because you are Jay, and like that.

Love you, big guy.
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Gary Emenitove
User: garyomaha
Date: 2008-05-08 16:43 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Oh, yes, Jay must make them laugh. Perhaps we should all offer suggestions as to what to say?
"Dude, want free copies of my books for life?"
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