[cancer] My inner rebel speaks - Lakeshore — LiveJournal
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Jay Lake
Date: 2009-11-10 20:21
Subject: [cancer] My inner rebel speaks
Security: Public
Tags:calendula, california, cancer, food, health, personal, travel, work
Flying to Philadelphia tomorrow (including the open dinner tomorrow night at the Philadelphia Marriott). Meetings on Thursday in Pennsylvania, then Friday I fly to San Francisco to spend a few days with calendula_witch.

One thing I've become very concerned about is catching cold or flu. A respiratory infection right now would be an utter disaster. I've had my seasonal flu vaccine, but as recently as couple of days ago the H1N1 vaccine wasn't yet available here in the Portland area. Pretty soon I'll be so close to the surgery that even if I do manage to get it, an adverse reaction will affect the surgery.

So tonight I went out and bought some hand sanitizer to carry with me, and some face masks. I'm cool with the hand sanitizer, but find myself oddly reluctant to wear a face mask on the plane. This is rather out of character for me, given my usual indifference to the opinions of random strangers. I'm not even sure what it means, except maybe that feels like another surrender.

And that is one of the hardest things here. My sense of narrowing is in effect a surrender to cancer and the demands of both the disease and its treatment. I'm about to give up a couple of weeks of my life to surgery and recovery; then half a year or more to chemotherapy. I've given up my usual clothing in favor of roaming around bundled up like a rag doll. I'm giving up at least some of my writing for a while. The space this takes in my head is growing, and it's pushing almost everything else out.

For some reason, my inner rebel is drawing the line at the stupid face masks. Yet if I do pick something up on the plane, it could be dreadful for me.

I hate this. Hate hate hate.

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User: beth_bernobich
Date: 2009-11-11 05:04 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:blue woman
Keeping you in my thoughts, Jay.
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User: janellelohr
Date: 2009-11-11 05:14 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
One of my in-laws has had a lung transplant, and so has to wear a face mask anytime she is in a "risky" situation, of which there are plenty, though planes are particularly bad. After all these years, she is generally cool about it, but she still takes it off for pictures, and makes a point to explain it to my kids.

I'm sorry it makes you self-conscious or feel a form of otherness, especially since it is a very good idea, but I can also imagine how difficult it is to alter the face you present to the world.
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M.K. Hobson
User: mkhobson
Date: 2009-11-11 05:26 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Here's a strange thought. Can you pretend to be someone else for as long as it takes to get through the time you need to wear the mask? Perhaps I'm especially dissociative, but this particular tactic helps me when I have to do things I don't want to or that don't feel like "me". I put myself in a character and have the character do it. Create the character of a grumpy old hypochondriac and inhabit that character. Suspend being Jay Lake just long enough to get through the airplane trip.

Maybe putting your person-hood on hold is the last thing you want to do at this moment. If so, forgive the suggestion. It's the kind of thing that would work for me, though.

Many hugs, and good work with the hand sanitizer, I love that stuff. Also, eat lots of super hot salsa. Can't hurt, right?

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The NewroticGirl
User: newroticgirl
Date: 2009-11-11 05:40 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
What if The Child turns them into a work of art? Then maybe if somebody makes a comment, it will be about how awesome they are?
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Kevin Roche
User: kproche
Date: 2009-11-11 06:32 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Aw, rats, ya' beat me to it!

Jay -- since we're entering prime cold and flu season, the mask is a reasonable precaution. I bet you wouldn't even be the only person wearing one.

You could also always draw your choice of beard and mustache on it.
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brent_kellmer: mask
User: brent_kellmer
Date: 2009-11-11 05:49 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
You could always wear something like this and really make a statement.

I'd actually expect there to be more masks these days in airports, enough so that I don't think anyone would really look twice at you. At least not for the mask -- for the Hawaiian shirt, maybe.
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User: martianmooncrab
Date: 2009-11-11 06:33 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
have The Child decorate the masks, give yourself a handlebar mooostache... be creative!
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User: fjm
Date: 2009-11-11 06:37 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Can you afford an upgrade to put you at the front of the plane? Also, ask to be last on, first off.

Right now, you would not want to be any where near me. [wheeze]
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When life gives you lemmings...
User: danjite
Date: 2009-11-11 08:52 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Respectfully, Sir, it would be inappropriate to be so self-centered as to not wear a mask when people you love are counting on you.

Fuck your inner rebel- this isn't a game and it isn't strictly about you.
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Lisa Deutsch Harrigan: St Mongos
User: lisa_marli
Date: 2009-11-11 09:50 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:St Mongos
The Guy who does my nails also hates the masks, but needs to wear one to keep the dust out of his lungs. So he made a Cloth Mask out of a fabric he likes, then just hides the stupid mask underneath it. The cloth mask doesn't actually filter anything, it just looks nicer than the blue thing.
You could use some fabric from a favorite Hawaiian shirt that has seen better days.
Yeah, we're all trying to make some lemonade for you.
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Kari Sperring
User: la_marquise_de_
Date: 2009-11-11 11:49 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It's that thin line between sense and surrender. Hug.
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Lawrence M. Schoen
User: klingonguy
Date: 2009-11-11 12:48 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'm not surprised to see this post, as Valerie and I were discussing this just last night. We decided you should wear a mask (though not through airport security).

You can blame us.
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User: cathshaffer
Date: 2009-11-11 13:10 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
My aunt was scheduled for surgery yesterday, for a condition that is both dangerous and very painful. After all of the anticipation of waiting, and fasting and everything, she had a fever when she got there, and they had to reschedule, which is just horrible, so I'm glad you're being careful.
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User: scarlettina
Date: 2009-11-11 18:15 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
When jackwilliambell and I were in Japan, we saw people wearing surgical masks everywhere. They were for sale in the front of every pharmacy we passed. It wasn't a concession to anything but personal safety. Concede to your own personal safety and put on the mask, Jay. You could draw a mouth on it with fanciful moustaches, or a plain smiley. Or you could write on it, "Protecting my lungs."

Just...take care of yourself. Putting on a mask is a concession to the idea that you're worth protecting. The hundreds of people on your flist can't be wrong on this matter. Oh, and neither can I. Just sayin'.

Edited at 2009-11-11 06:17 pm (UTC)
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Leah Cutter: Stress lab 2
User: lrcutter
Date: 2009-11-12 01:32 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Stress lab 2
I have thought about wearing masks on the airplane as well -- and haven't quite been up to it. For me it's as much about being ostracized as anything else.

Have you seen this? The google maps for finding vaccine?

Just put in your zip, see what comes up. . .

You're in my thoughts.
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