[cancer] The journey of a thousand lifetimes begins with a single stumble - Lakeshore — LiveJournal
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Jay Lake
Date: 2008-05-26 11:29
Subject: [cancer] The journey of a thousand lifetimes begins with a single stumble
Security: Public
Location:Nuevo Rancho Lake
Music:Secret of Roan Innish on the VCR
Tags:cancer, child, healthcare, personal
I am reflecting that today is the four-week anniversary of lasirenadolce hauling me to the Emergency Room. Since then I have spent nine days in the hospital, been diagnosed with cancer (three times, technically, though as a practical matter they were all the same thing), undergone major surgery, and spent two weeks at home being largely horizontal. Tomorrow I will begin returning to the Day Job, on a careful basis.

Even though I continue to be a tourist in the land of the slow, the land itself has moved along quite quickly. A real E-ticket ride.

We're also cutting the painkillers in half today, to see if I can limit the dose even further. I'm not quite ready to cold turkey, but I'd like to taper off within the next week or so. No pain or side effects yet, except a possibly unrelated bout of light headedness.

As I said to danjite in chat today, I decline to view this experience as a form of Enlightenment. Suffering does not convey wisdom. It does, however, convey perspective, which is a close cousin of wisdom. I'll take it for my own and embrace it, but I am still me.

If you rate cancers (and their treatments) on a 100 point scale of pain, fear and mortality, where a 1 is having a spot cryo'ed off your face, and 100 is something truly awful like metastatic brain cancer, my adventures in cancer probably rate a 10.

Still, that 10 is my own brush with death. I could have died that first night from blood loss, had we been a little slower to go in to the ER. I would have died in another few years from a cancer no one ever would have suspected was there, if the tumor hadn't ulcerated. My life was bought for me on a well-timed river of blood.

There are still hurdles. My providers have indicated there is a small chance my cancer is linked to a specific genetic condition. I will therefore be going through genetic counseling and probably some additional testing. This has long term implications for me and potentially for others in my family. More fears, and more Big Fears, to wrestle with before I can put this to bed.

I am thankful for the clean surgical path report and early staging, I am thankful that I do not require chemo or radiotherapy, I am thankful that I can see "normal" from where I sit today, I am thankful for the relief in the eyes of my parents, of the_child, of lasirenadolce and all my family and friends. Most of all I am thankful for my life.
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User: michaeljasper
Date: 2008-05-26 19:02 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I am thankful, too. Thanks for the perspective and wisdom. As always.
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Ruthanne Reid
User: ruthannereid
Date: 2008-05-26 19:06 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Perspective is only half of the story; interpretation and response are the other half, and that's where wisdom is born. Again, thank you for sharing all of this.
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Shalanna: cat drummer
User: shalanna
Date: 2008-05-26 19:07 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:cat drummer
I love "The Secret of Roan Inish!" I first rented it when I did "Viable Paradise II" by phone and was told that my story reminded them of it. The venue is completely different, but the philosophy is somewhat similar.

I think you will come to terms with this experience and perhaps ultimately have a bit of Enlightenment despite yourself. But you really dodged the bullet train there, and we're glad!
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Richard Parks
User: ogre_san
Date: 2008-05-26 19:15 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Sending healing thoughts and good luck your way.
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User: ellameena
Date: 2008-05-26 19:45 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Jay, I just wanted to let you know (belatedly) that I am delighted that you got such good news from your pathology report, and that your prognosis is so excellent. I have been through a lot of tough times these past few years, and I think the most important thing I've learned, and am still learning, is to not be afraid. Most people allow fear of loss or fear of suffering to drive our choices almost every day. Some people are more risk-averse than others. But going through an ordeal like you have (or like I have) REALLY teaches you to grab life with both hands. We should not base our decisions in life about "what could go wrong" or "what might happen," nor should we go around avoiding conflict and pain like little pavlovian robots.

This is the central message of the bible ("be not afraid") and it is a commandment, but it is also a philosophy that anyone can subscribe to, whatever your belief system.
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User: dirkcjelli
Date: 2008-05-26 21:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
glad to hear progress progresses
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User: steve_buchheit
Date: 2008-05-26 22:33 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Good luck at the day job, Jay.
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User: kara_gnome
Date: 2008-05-27 00:24 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Good luck at your day job, and I know everyone there will be great if you have to take it easier than you expect.

Hang in there, you're doing great.
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User: scarlettina
Date: 2008-05-27 00:25 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
And we're thankful for you and your most excellent prospects.
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User: robvagle
Date: 2008-05-27 02:58 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)

Be well, Jay!
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Brenda Cooper: Frog in fall
User: bjcooper
Date: 2008-05-27 04:11 (UTC)
Subject: We are thankful for your life, too
Keyword:Frog in fall
And will be glad when youa re outwriting us all on wordcount daily, once again!
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Be wise. Be brave. Be tricky.: medical
User: slithytove
Date: 2008-05-27 04:59 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I am thankful for the clean surgical path report and early staging, I am thankful that I do not require chemo or radiotherapy

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Bibbit: light cage
User: bridget_coila
Date: 2008-05-27 11:41 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:light cage
I also am thankful for your life... you are awesome and strong and I'm glad that I can look forward to having you as a friend for many more years to come...

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User: frabjouslinz
Date: 2008-05-27 16:53 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
When I see you I am giving you the biggest hug your healing body can stand. I'm so happy you're around and recovering.
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