?

Log in

No account? Create an account
[cancer] Tears fall down like missiles from the skies - Lakeshore
An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2009-10-28 05:08
Subject: [cancer] Tears fall down like missiles from the skies
Security: Public
Tags:calendula, cancer, conventions, family, personal, travel
What the hell can I say? Cancer sucks. I've been extraordinarily busy, and will continue to be so through the weekend, which is almost certainly a goodness. Sixteen hour workday yesterday (seriously), though scarlettina dropped by for a visit later, so I did get some friend time in. Driving back to Portland today, then hopping a plane for San Jose this afternoon, and on into the madness of World Fantasy, with calendula_witch once more.

Everyone around me is pierced, again. I see it in calendula_witch's eyes, in my parents' faces, in Mother of the Child's voice. I keep apologizing, though for what, I cannot say. I despise being the agent of this terror, bringing it into the camp of my loved ones like a gift horse on Greek-built wheels. Despite my best efforts otherwise, once again I have become a tumor.

I'm not so much with the panic this time, at least not yet. But the Fear is certainly a constant companion right now. Surgery, whatever. This will be a fraction of the trouble of last year's surgery. (Though I hope like hell cancer surgery is not an annual event in my life going forward.) Chemo scares me. The possibility of it being a second cancer scares me.

I thought I was going to write a fairly intelligent post about cancer fear, but I see that I'm just rambling. So, erm, I think I'll go back to being afraid.

And for you arts types, I think I'm going to get a tattoo that says 'CANCER SUCKS'. I'm envisioning it as being like old fashioned typewriter keys, round with letters in the middle, as if sketched in pencil with some cross shading. Anybody got any good photo or image references to art like that?
Post A Comment | 19 Comments | | Link






cathshaffer
User: cathshaffer
Date: 2009-10-28 12:27 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
This may be a very minority opinion, but I don't think your lung mass is cancer. We'll find out, in time. I can't know for sure. But here's my reasoning. Last spring, your scan turned up possible masses in your lymph node, your liver, and your lung. At that time, metastasis seemed like a reasonable explanation, even though it was a bit weird for a tumor to metastasize that had been surgically removed at a stage where it hadn't even grown through the colon.

Now that lymph and liver have been ruled out, I'm feeling very skeptical that Mr. Lung is the first and only place the colon cancer managed to metastasize. Not impossible, for sure, but again we are talking about a cancer that is apparently able to spread throughout your body from a location inside a jar on your shelf. It's odd.

New lung cancer doesn't sound right to me, although that I'm basing more on a belief that you couldn't possibly have that much bad luck.

Did your doctor leave open the possibility that this could be a benign mass? Maybe a little pine tree? (You heard about that guy, right?)

You have all my prayers and sympathy. This is very tough for you and your loved ones.
Reply | Thread | Link



Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2009-10-28 12:43 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Benign is certainly possible. (Or even pine trees, I suppose.) She's pretty certain this is metastasis, with lung cancer being a distant second, and benign/pine tree/other a very distant third possibility.

We shall see. At the moment, I am having trouble summoning the shreds of my optimism.
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



cathshaffer
User: cathshaffer
Date: 2009-10-28 13:06 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Very understandable, and it is not required for you to be optimistic about this. It's really very worrisome. One thing I've noticed is that specialists know a lot in their area of specialty, and not much in other areas--and that extends to subspecialties in oncology. Lung doctors are very good at recognizing lung cancers, and not so much with recognizing cancers that come from other parts of the body, or knowing what is typical behavior and what is not. If she thinks it's more likely to be metastasis of the colon, then the GOOD thing to take away there is that it doesn't look like lung cancer in her experience.

My Mom went to a lung specialist in June for a 5 cm mass in her lung. He looked at the scan and said it definitely didn't look like lung cancer. He said the only lung cancer that could grow that fast (she had a clear x-ray six months before) would be small cell, and since she had only smoked a few years in her adult life, and quit more than thirty years ago, it would really surprise him to find small cell lung cancer. He said she would literally be the first patient of his to have small cell with such a scant history of smoking. Then we talked about other possibilities. Could it be pneumonia? Yes, but it would be an atypical pneumonia. Could it be a fungal infection? Yes, but an atypical fungal infection. Could it be a metastasis of her other cancer? Yes, but it would be a very atypical metastasis. (This last had to come from the specialist for her primary cancer, because the lung doctor doesn't know much about myeloma.)So we ended up with a list of possible diagnoses, none of which actually fit quite right.

The final diagnosis was atypical pneumonia, confirmed when it disappeared rapidly after a course of antibiotics. Now, I don't think your mass is pneumonia, but I am prepared to say I told you so if it turns out to be benign. :-)

I hope you don't have to wait too long for a final answer.
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2009-10-28 18:36 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thank you. And may I say, "Grr!"
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



Greg van Eekhout
User: gregvaneekhout
Date: 2009-10-28 15:45 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Even your damn rambling is poetic and articulate. Because you are a bad-ass mofo.
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



the_blue_fenix
User: the_blue_fenix
Date: 2009-10-28 13:15 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'm very sorry to hear about this. Seconding the wish for some kind of non-cancerous or at least manageable diagnosis.

My dad (in his seventies, with an extensive smoking history) has had a long weary series of cancers over the last fifteen years or so. Waiting out another diagnosis now. He's from a generation and subculture that would never talk as openly about fear as you do. I hope that's helping you. Fingers crossed.
Reply | Thread | Link



The Green Knight: Hug
User: green_knight
Date: 2009-10-28 13:35 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Hug
<Hugs>

But forget 'old-fashioned typewriter'. What you need is a steampunk keyboard.

Steampunk Keyboard
Reply | Thread | Link



ozarque
User: ozarque
Date: 2009-10-28 13:54 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'd advise against getting that tatoo. The more attention you pay to things, the stronger they get; anything you feed will grow. I don't think it's a good idea to give cancer an official position of emblazonment on your body.
Reply | Thread | Link



Lady Jestocost
User: ladyjestocost
Date: 2009-10-28 14:18 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Must admit, I'm with Ozarque on this.

Trying to think of alternate suggestions: Pull Date 08/17/2061, maybe? Or Twinkie Lifespan?
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



e_bourne
User: e_bourne
Date: 2009-10-28 14:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Of course you are afraid. It's a sane reaction. You are surrounded by people who love you. It's the best thing we have going into fights like this. I send you love and wishes for a good outcome. And I hope that something happens today to make you laugh.
Reply | Thread | Link



Somewhat Bent: Biohazard
User: ladyallyn
Date: 2009-10-28 14:16 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Biohazard
Have artist friend who is cancer survivor. Can do whatever you want.

In the meantime, Well Wishes!!
Reply | Thread | Link



User: jess_ka
Date: 2009-10-28 14:18 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:lantern
There's a lot of love and grace surrounding you, Jay, and so much fortitude within you, that I really believe you are going to pull through all this and have scads more wonderful life of Jay.
Reply | Thread | Link



fledgist
User: fledgist
Date: 2009-10-28 14:53 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
While it is not true that amor vincit omnia it does one hell of a job of helping one face the storm. May luck be with you.
Reply | Thread | Link



Chris McKitterick: evolution-robot
User: mckitterick
Date: 2009-10-28 15:58 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:evolution-robot
My dad is dealing with this exact situation - and fear - right now. Awaiting further tests rather than going in immediately, because his insurance is through the VA. Like you, he's most concerned about a course of chemo and radiation. He believes it'll be okay, but all the crap he'll have to endure to reach that point is what scares him the most.

My thoughts and hopes are with you.
Reply | Thread | Link



anghara
User: anghara
Date: 2009-10-28 17:14 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I have few real true honest-to-god superstitions, but there is ONE - you never point to yourself if you're talking about something bad that happened to someone else (as in, "he broke his leg in three places", pointing to your own leg, or something like that). I know it isn't the same situation, but your idea of tattooing the word "cancer" on your skin in a permanent fashion triggers the same set of alarm bells in me. Don't do it. Don't let the damned thing have any more of you than you can help; don't give it skin space. Push it away from you, don't give it a permanent home...

Good thoughts still being sent from here. I hope the lung thing turns out to be something less evil than anybody has yet postulated it to be. In the meantime, enjoy World Fantasy.
Reply | Thread | Link



russ: zen
User: goulo
Date: 2009-10-28 18:52 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:zen
Well, I just saw this art with old typewriter keys...
http://artdesign365.blogspot.com/2009/10/webisode.html
Reply | Thread | Link



User: tillyjane
Date: 2009-10-28 19:26 (UTC)
Subject: fear runs in families...
ok, youre right, were all scared. But Jay, just as you are not a tumor, we are not our fears. They dont identify or define us. They're there and we all help each other deal with them, and no one is paralyzed. So you dont have anything to apologize for, we just love you, thats all.

S
Reply | Thread | Link



Andrew Trembley
User: bovil
Date: 2009-10-28 20:46 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Cancer does suck.

We'll focus on fun, though, at least for the weekend.
Reply | Thread | Link



sheelangig
User: sheelangig
Date: 2009-10-28 23:16 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)

I can recommend a good tat artist if you don't already have one.
Reply | Thread | Link



browse
my journal
links
January 2014
2012 appearances