?

Log in

No account? Create an account
[cancer] Lies, damn lies and statistics - Lakeshore
An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2009-06-10 05:11
Subject: [cancer] Lies, damn lies and statistics
Security: Public
Tags:books, calendula, cancer, endurance, personal, writing
Yesterday's consult did not go well. Further consideration of the scans divulged some new information (well, new to me at any rate). I've got the two masses on the liver, a suspected lung tumor, and we're back to assuming full lymphatic involvement. The lung information was new to me.

I have an oncologist appointment Friday to discuss assessments and treatment paths, and I'm still waiting for the second opinion response from UCSF. Next step is (likely) liver surgery either in early July or early August — the timing is under discussion based on further diagnostics of the lung site and the lymph sites. That surgery will be comparable to my surgery of last year, with me fully out of commission for two weeks or so, and on reduced duty for a while after.

Four to six weeks after liver surgery, otherwise commencing directly sometime this summer, I'll embark on a six month chemo course. (ie, Even if the surgery doesn't happen, the chemo will.) The details of this will become clearer after Friday's appointment. Midway through the chemo course, I'll have renewed medical imaging to check the progress of the tumors. Plans may change based on those outcomes.

This is not fully confirmed, as there has been no tissue diagnosis yet. There's a slim chance that some (or even all) of this is mistaken. For example, the spot on my lung may be an old pneumonia scar. However, given my personal history and that fact that we know the liver masses are novel, as they did not appear on last year's scan, everything has to be assumed high risk unless proven otherwise.

What this boils down to is that the cancer is migrating through my lymph system and metastasizing where it will. This was probably true last year, but it wasn't detectable on last year's scans.

Statistically, given our current understanding, optimistically I'm in the 30%/5-year survival rate group. That's statistical, not based on my personal health, etc., though it's still very real. As my doctor said, "You're either 0% or 100%. No one is 30% dead." I am likely a much better risk than that, but that's the bucket I'm in. I'm (relatively) young, I'm not particularly multifactorial, I'm highly motivated with excellent emotional and social support structures.

But still, you'd have much better odds at the craps table in Vegas than you would betting me to show up at WorldCon in 2014. (Hmm, maybe I should start making book. Would it be tacky to run my own dead pool?)

Scared? You bet. Angry? Hellaciously. But I have to do what I have to do.

Once we know a little more about treatment paths, I'll start changing my convention and writing plans as needed. I'm not going to let this get me, and if it does, it will have to drag me kicking and screaming all the way. calendula_witch, K—, kenscholes and my entire circle of family and friends are treating me magnificently. Like I said, if love could cure cancer, I'd be the healthiest son of a bitch in North America.

For a while, I'm going to spend some time being the sickest son of a bitch in North America. But first, I write. I'm going to start drafting Endurance this weekend. If I can't wrap the draft before surgery or the onset of chemo (whichever comes first), I'll finish the book once I've stabilized sufficiently on the chemo to work again.

Because I am a writer. A dad. A lover. A friend. But most of all I am alive.

And we all know statistics are damned lies anyway.

Originally published at jlake.com.

Post A Comment | 110 Comments | | Link






Page 1 of 7
<<[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] >>
threeoutside
User: threeoutside
Date: 2009-06-10 13:16 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Dude.
Reply | Thread | Link



martyn44
User: martyn44
Date: 2009-06-10 13:18 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
All good wishes, vibes, prayers, etc to you and all of yours.
Reply | Thread | Link



User: swan_tower
Date: 2009-06-10 13:20 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:swan
Jesus. I am so sorry to hear that -- except for the bit that is your fighting spirit. That part is good, and I'll cheer it every step of the way.
Reply | Thread | Link



Laura Anne Gilman: dandelion break
User: suricattus
Date: 2009-06-10 13:24 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:dandelion break
Not the news anyone wanted to hear. Will continue to engage the Universe on your behalf, as I can.


Would it be tacky to run my own dead pool?)

If it would amuse you, do it. Anything that will amuse/energize you is a mitzvah at this point. Plus, great Locus blurb.




Reply | Thread | Link



Vylar Kaftan
User: vylar_kaftan
Date: 2009-06-10 13:25 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
(and ditto this. I'd laugh my butt off if you ran your own dead pool... though some people might be reluctant to participate)
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



Vylar Kaftan
User: vylar_kaftan
Date: 2009-06-10 13:24 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thinking of you. *hug* Hope is a powerful medicine.
Reply | Thread | Link



jonathanstrahan
User: jonathanstrahan
Date: 2009-06-10 13:26 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Fuck. That sucks. I'm depending on you being there for breakfast at WorldCon 2025. Ken will be an intolerable superstar by then, and I'll need you to help me keep his ego in check. We have a deal, and I'll be keeping you to it.
Reply | Thread | Link



dragon: rayne
User: dragonmyst
Date: 2009-06-10 13:26 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:rayne
{{{hugs}}}

Reply | Thread | Link



Richard Parks
User: ogre_san
Date: 2009-06-10 13:29 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
You're in my thoughts, Jay. As for the pool, well, all the smart money would be on you.
Reply | Thread | Link



kellymccullough
User: kellymccullough
Date: 2009-06-10 13:37 (UTC)
Subject: Damn, damn, damn, etc.
Very sorry to hear that and pissed off on your behalf.
Reply | Thread | Link



Renee Babcock
User: renegade500
Date: 2009-06-10 13:39 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
As I try to tell myself more and more these days, all we really have is today, that's our only guarantee, today, this moment. No reason not to try to make it as good a moment as possible, which I think you are doing.

I'll be thinking of you, Jay. Besides, everyone knows the Worldcon to come to will be the 2013 WorldCon (which of course has not even been officially bid yet by the bidding organization, of which I am not a part, but is one of the biggest open secrets in fandom right now and that's all I'll say because I have no authority whatsoever to say anything anyway, but trust me, you'll want to be there!).

As for running your own dead pool why not, I think it's a great idea, and you could even do some kind of charity thing if you really wanted to and make lots of monies.

Reply | Thread | Link



robin catesby
User: deedop
Date: 2009-06-10 13:41 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Put me down for 2059 and the ripe old age of 90-whatever.

Oh, and dammit, beat this thing with flying colors or I'm sending your ex-cats over there to pee on your bed.
Reply | Thread | Link



Jody Sherry: muse
User: jodysherry
Date: 2009-06-10 13:46 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:muse
Oh man, that sucks. But I'm with everyone else who's said if there's anyone with the energy and the will to beat this, it's you.
Reply | Thread | Link



Jen Volant
User: tacithydra
Date: 2009-06-10 13:48 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Oh, Jay, I am so sorry.

You are an amazing fighter, with an amazing group of people around you who love you. I'd bet on seeing you in 2014, in that pool.

I will be thinking good thoughts in your direction.
Reply | Thread | Link



User: eljaydaly
Date: 2009-06-10 13:48 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Damn. Not news anybody wants.

Best of luck for a smooth course of chemo, and a full, healthy, and quick triumph. The universe needs 100% people to destroy the curve, after all.
Reply | Thread | Link



Jon Hansen
User: jonhansen
Date: 2009-06-10 13:51 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Aw, fuck.

Reply | Thread | Link



Page 1 of 7
<<[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] >>
browse
my journal
links
January 2014
2012 appearances