[cancer] Today's state of the Jay - Lakeshore — LiveJournal
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Jay Lake
Date: 2009-05-19 04:21
Subject: [cancer] Today's state of the Jay
Security: Public
Tags:calendula, cancer, child, family, personal, work, writing
Since I've been quite frank about my experiences in these New Adventures in Cancer, I thought I'd lay out where my head is today. A very long walk on the Papillion Creek Trail gave me plenty of time to sort through what I'm thinking and feeling, inasmuch as that's possible right now.

First off, I am intensely relieved to have the potential cancers down to just the liver anomalies. My colon's continuing attempts to kill me are very much at issue, but that's not a battle I need to fight today. Hopefully the lymphatic stuff will stay firmly in the "false alarm" category. The liver stuff will suck, a lot, but it's constrained. At the same time, I'm also very angry about it. I think this is a healthy anger, falling somewhere between "borderline psychotic will to live" and "kill them all, God will know His own." Part of what I need to stay mentally, emotionally and physiologically motivated to beat these little tumorous fuckers to death.

Secondly, I'm realizing that the battle of the colon will be a continuing process. Part of how I coped with last year's Excellent Cancer Adventure was by unconsciously assuming that it was a one-time event, an anomaly, and that I'd return to a normal existence at some point. Clearly this is not the case. This is resetting my emotional horizons in fundamental ways. I have been planning my life in decades, assuming at least til age 70 for active, productive healthy daily existence, and at least age 80 for reasonable health and productivity. While that's not off the menu — everything going on now is controllable — my risk factors are going to be much higher than the general population for the foreseeable future. It's not that I think I'm going to die young. It's that I know I might. So my sense of living for the day, already very strong since last year's struggle, has been sharpened. I grow monsters in my gut, and sooner or later one of them may kill me. I can live with that, I just need to live in the now, however long the now turns out to be.

Third, the outpouring of love, support and affection here on the blogs, via Twitter, via email, via telephone, in person — it has been overwhelming. Sort of like going to my own funeral, Tom Sawyer style. I have not even pretended to keep up with everyone, for which I am sorry. I want to say the sense of community has been a very powerful part of my ability to weather this experience thus far, and will be a critical aspect of these next phases of the process. Thank you, everyone.

Meanwhile, life goes on. I have been working with casacorona to ensure that Pinion stays on track, even if I'm in surgical recovery or chemotherapy. calendula_witch will handle the CEM if needed, likewise galleys. The Day Jobbe is being very supportive and constructive. My family is ready to fight tigers for me. the_child and her mother are giving me close, loving support. I will need a turnstile and a door warden to manage my friends if I am laid up in the hospital or at Nuevo Rancho Lake for a while. kenscholes and K— are being dear beyond measure in propping both me and calendula_witch up. calendula_witch and I are looking at our near and mid-term plans to make sure we can do everything we need to, and keep me properly cared for as required. After last year, I know how to do this. Not the kind of experience I'd wish on anybody, but I've had it, so I may as well use it.

Thank you, every one. And most especially, thank you to calendula_witch, kenscholes and K—. I love you all.

Originally published at

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User: ozarque
Date: 2009-05-19 12:27 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Many loving thoughts and wishes and prayers from me, headed your way...
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User: evaleastaristev
Date: 2009-05-19 12:41 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Firstly, with this second occurance of the Cancer, I want you to know that I have some idea what you're gong through. I lost my Aunt M to her second occurance of breast cancer. It's a scary thing. I know that she lived for the day, and only when they found it in her lymphatic system did she have to make some tough decisions. Hopefully you won't have to make the same ones.

But in reading about the Excellent Cancer Adventure last year, and your thoughts on this years recurrance, I know that you have the strength to make it through this. I see the same strength in you that I saw in my Aunt M. Whatever comes your way, keep this healthy Anger. It will help to keep you going, as long as it's the healthy kind.

As we've met maybe twice, I won't say anything silly like you can talk to me if you need it. I just want you to know that I'm here, and I'm listening, and I understand. You are not alone, and I believe that whatever comes, you can face it, and you can push through it, and make it out the other side of whatever the little monsters in your gut throw at you.
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dragon: cc light
User: dragonmyst
Date: 2009-05-19 12:43 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:cc light

I've been reading your lj for a few months, maybe longer. You are an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your cancer experiences. You and your family are in my daily prayers and thoughts.
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User: jimvanpelt
Date: 2009-05-19 12:47 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
There really are no words Jay, other than to let you know I'm thinking about you. Camus was right, I think, about the intensity of lonliness when you consider how little of our lives' experiences we can truly share.

Keep plugging.
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User: jess_ka
Date: 2009-05-19 12:49 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
You're pretty effing amazing, Jay. I'm so glad you're surrounded by tiger-fighting loved ones. Lots more hugs here.
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User: mevennen
Date: 2009-05-19 12:51 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
My friend E says 'that which doesn't kill you, makes you stronger. And when I'm stronger, I'm going to hunt down that which didn't kill me, and make it pay.'

Two years ago, we had a customer from Hawai'i in the shop. I told her that T had had throat cancer, and she said that she had, too, when she was 18. She was then in her early 60s and had gone through cancer 9 times, in different places. She said that she had got used to the dance and showed me her chemo pills, which she'd taken on holiday with her. It was clearly a very difficult life, but she had fought, won, and was fighting and winning. So will you.
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User: lauriemann
Date: 2009-05-19 12:58 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Some folks have quite a tussle with colon polyps but get them taken out and keep going on their way. I remember being in recovery after my first colonoscopy, and hearing this much older woman (she was in her 70s at least) talking to her daughter. She had a colonoscopy every year. She just had 122 polyps removed. A little later, when I was told I'd had one removed, I didn't feel quite as freaked out as I might have been otherwise. Good luck!
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User: fledgist
Date: 2009-05-19 13:41 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keep on going, man!
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User: kara_gnome
Date: 2009-05-19 13:42 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I think that your courage in talking about all of this with us on blogs and such, well, I admire you so much :)

Your family and friends, I could not be happier for you re them; I couldn't imagine going through this on your own. Or at all, come to think.
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Jen Volant: eyes
User: tacithydra
Date: 2009-05-19 14:20 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
You are amazing, and very strong. I'm keeping you in my thoughts.
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User: musingaloud
Date: 2009-05-19 15:45 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Fight the good fight and draw on your tiger-slayers for strength. Thanks for sharing, it helps us all realize how good we have it when the what-ifs don't happen this day. Thoughts and prayers your way.
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User: mcjulie
Date: 2009-05-19 15:49 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
That's the way to do it.

Kick tumor ass, take tumor names, and stick around.
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User: selfavowedgeek
Date: 2009-05-19 16:18 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keep forging ahead.

Your courage and attitude are admirable, Jay.
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Jon Gibbs
User: jongibbs
Date: 2009-05-19 16:35 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keep on swinging, keep on smiling :)
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Kari Sperring: Living With Ghosts
User: la_marquise_de_
Date: 2009-05-19 16:42 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Living With Ghosts
For what it's worth, all best wishes from me.
Kari (Sperring)
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User: zhaneel69
Date: 2009-05-19 16:59 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Love to you dear one. I'm glad (though hardly surprised) that your friends and family are there for you. You have brought much joy, thought, laughter, and introspection to others it is natural that they will want to be there for you. I know I'm semi-distant, and for that I do apologize. I'm not sure if you are recovering in SF or up in Portland. If you are down my way, I will clear out time if you aren't already overwhelmed with friendly time.
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The NewroticGirl
User: newroticgirl
Date: 2009-05-19 19:30 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
We love you too.

If you need help with local stuff, lemme know. I have a lot of free/flexible time.
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Leah Cutter: BigDaddyMeats
User: lrcutter
Date: 2009-05-19 19:32 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
As you've said before -- you are not your cancer, your tumor or your fear. You may be growing monsters in your gut but you're still an amazing individual and a gifted writer. You are in my thoughts, Jay.
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Allison Lonsdale
User: caprine
Date: 2009-05-19 19:54 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I send you good wishes and hope.

I cannot help but think that it all goes back to that infestation of Mongolian Fireworms you had some years ago...
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Danny Adams
User: madwriter
Date: 2009-05-19 20:16 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
And if anyone ever gives you grief about not finishing a series ala George R.R. Martin's more rabid fans, we will keeeeeel them for you. No need to let you suffer the extra stress, wot?
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2009-05-20 05:46 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Jay, hugs.

Yeah. It's a fundamentally different long term view.

FWIW, my mother has had breast cancer four times in the last 32 years and she's been cancer free for ten years now. I've been cancer free for 14 years. And still, for both of us, vigilence against the beast is always something we plan for.
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