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Jay Lake
Date: 2009-11-17 05:43
Subject: [cancer] Crossing the Rubicon
Security: Public
Tags:calendula, cancer, personal
There are moments in life which you cannot take back or do over. The first time you say "I love you" to someone who has become important. Signing your mortgage papers. Birthing a child. Whatever happens, you've jumped, and there's no going back. Your life will be forever different.

I am coming to see this impending thoracic surgery as such a Rubicon for me. Not the surgical procedure itself, I suppose, but the milestone of passing from diagnosis of this second round of cancer, which has been going on since May, to treatment, which will likely go on through next June at the earliest. Over a year of my life spent on this single, deadly issue. And this surgery is the pivot point.

Things will be different. I spent a lot of time convincing myself that last year's cancer was a fluke, a one time event from which I would recover and return to the general population of risk, mortality, life expectancy, baseline health and so forth. Now we know my colon continues to produce precancerous polyps, and we have this tumor to take out of my lung, and we have the near-certainty of chemotherapy. I will never return to the general population. There is a new normal in my life, and it will always have me one scan away from very bad news indeed.

Take that sense of transition, and combine it with the usual fears of surgery, and my larger fears of chemotherapy, and invest it all in a Wednesday morning check-in time at the hospital for my nacho-ectomy, and you have my Rubicon.

Life will be different. More different than anything I've ever done, in some ways. Yet, as calendula_witch keeps reminding me, I am still me, and I will continue to be me. I seem to be living a life filled with love and madness.

Even now, I have no regrets. Only hopes and fears.

Post A Comment | 14 Comments | | Link

Kari Sperring
User: la_marquise_de_
Date: 2009-11-17 13:55 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
calendula_witch is right.
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User: mcjulie
Date: 2009-11-17 15:21 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Ditto that!
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User: jimvanpelt
Date: 2009-11-17 14:22 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Good luck, Jay. You are in my thoughts. I've talked to my writing classes about you as a writer, and some of them have been following your blog, so they have gotten to see a side of you as a person that they don't normally get to see in the authors they study.
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User: hutch0
Date: 2009-11-17 16:37 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Best of luck, Jay.
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User: e_bourne
Date: 2009-11-17 17:04 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
You are in our thoughts and in our hearts.
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User: the_ogre
Date: 2009-11-17 17:25 (UTC)
Subject: "I seem to be living a life filled with love and madness."
It looks like that from this angle too, Jay. And I don't forsee that changing anytime soon.

You are well liked and loved by many and you are brilliantly mad - you know this already, but it always bears saying.
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User: fledgist
Date: 2009-11-17 17:45 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Luck be with you, Jay.
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Jennifer Brozek
User: jennifer_brozek
Date: 2009-11-17 19:25 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
That's so awesome. Also, Jeff and I will see you and Shannon at AussieCon 4!
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User: klwilliams
Date: 2009-11-17 21:43 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Yes, your life is now different. But your life is always different, to greater or lesser degrees. This time is of course one of the greater changes, and the next year is going to suck, so hang on to your friends who are along for the ride, and grab the new ones on the way. Great things will happen still.
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User: joycemocha
Date: 2009-11-18 03:29 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Hugs. All will be well.
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shelly_rae: Big leaf Maple
User: shelly_rae
Date: 2009-11-18 06:37 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Big leaf Maple
Yep. Smart woman. Still you just circumstances change.

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User: the_blue_fenix
Date: 2009-11-18 14:19 (UTC)
Subject: love and madness
Sounds about right. And sounds like a pretty good deal.

Thinking of you.
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