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[cancer] The frame of mind begins to narrow - Lakeshore
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Jay Lake
Date: 2009-11-10 05:49
Subject: [cancer] The frame of mind begins to narrow
Security: Public
Tags:cancer, personal, work
As I know from experience, my focus tends to narrow when I close in on a major milestone in my cancer journey. This illness induces all sorts of pathologies in me which I never enjoy in the course of my normal life — anxiety, panic attacks, crying, etc. It also invokes an old, old specter of depression, which I struggled with to severe clinical extremes in my teen years and young adulthood.

Walking this morning, I found myself turning over my surgery fears. I don't actually have much of a negative reaction to the idea of the surgical procedures. In fact, they tend to fascinate me. But anesthesia... I have both a reasonable and an unreasoning fear of anesthesia. My true terror in surgery is that I simply will never wake up.

And boy did that terror dog me this morning.

Yesterday was a perfectly fine day. Day Jobbery, lunch with kenscholes, got my hair done in the afternoon while Mark Ferrari kibitzed, then dinner with Mark, then a quiet evening at home. But the whole day I was very bundled up, like Randy in A Christmas Story. I cannot afford to come down with a respiratory infection in the next week or two, not going into lung surgery, so keeping my core temperature high has become a significant priority.

And that depressed me, for reasons it took me a while to unravel. What I finally realized was that exaggerated protection from being chilled is also part of the chemo experience, at least for the chemo I'm most likely to be on. Being ridiculously bundled up was like a pre-echo of that extended state of medical fragility into which I will be entering all too soon.

The petulant part of me keeps crying that I don't want to do this, again, or ever. The stubborn part of me says fuck cancer, we will survive.

Still, the focus narrows.
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ozarque
User: ozarque
Date: 2009-11-10 14:02 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thank you for keeping us up to date as you go along....
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aitchellsee
User: aitchellsee
Date: 2009-11-10 14:19 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
We're out here listening, and sending more of those supportive thoughts!
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fjm
User: fjm
Date: 2009-11-10 14:49 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I have a thing about zips and buttons. In moments of stress I like clothing with lots of little buttons that tighten around neck, wrists and ankles, or zips that come up to the chin. Wanting to be bundled up is I think related to the same basic desire to be wrapped up very tight by someone who will take care of us.

hugs
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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
The NewroticGirl
User: newroticgirl
Date: 2009-11-10 18:42 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I believe in Jay Lake.
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Queen of the Skies
User: queenoftheskies
Date: 2009-11-10 15:42 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
You are such a brave man. I admire and respect you so much.

::HUGS::

Sending you good thoughts every day.
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Kari Sperring
User: la_marquise_de_
Date: 2009-11-10 18:13 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
More good wishes.
I sometimes think that waiting is the worst thing of all -- fear builds up and gnaws away. Once you're in the midst of the crisis, strength comes back. It does with me, anyway.
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User: saoba
Date: 2009-11-10 18:34 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
In my experience (months of playing dragon at the gate at hospital while a friend did rounds of chemo) the waiting for it to start is always tough. My friend thought waiting for the second round was scariest, because the first time it all happened so fast and was all so new.

I am sorry the fear is walking with you. There's an awful lot of people out here in the wilds of the Net thinking of you.
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martianmooncrab
User: martianmooncrab
Date: 2009-11-10 19:21 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
express your fears to the Anesthesologist when you do the presurgery Talk. Mine so far have been very cool about things.
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e_bourne
User: e_bourne
Date: 2009-11-10 20:06 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Medical fragility sucks. Hugs and love.
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shelly_rae: Feather in the Sand
User: shelly_rae
Date: 2009-11-11 05:08 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Feather in the Sand
You have a road map, a friendly native guide, we will survive...
Anon
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Jay Lake: cancer-do-not-want
User: jaylake
Date: 2009-11-11 05:12 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:cancer-do-not-want
Thank you, my friend.
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