May 5th, 2008


[cancer] Fear

There's an interesting thing that's happening to me right now. Logically I know this thing will be beaten — despite the surprise of the two secondary cancers, everything is considered eminently treatable. But I'm still afraid, after all. This is cancer. The c-word. The silent killer of our times.

So I have fear. That's fear along the lines of worrying about the anaesthesia during my surgery (I have idiosyncratic responses to sedation). Fear about recovery times. Fear about issues at work. These are sane, rational fears, not phobias, not panics.

Then I have The Fear. That's the one that gets me sobbing in the shower, or just stopped cold with a hard, heavy heart. The irrational terrors about CANCER!!!, about dying, about losing too much of my life, about damaging the souls of those who love me. This is Fear like a drunk convinced he's covered with spiders.

Ordinary fear is my friend. It motivates me, helps me focus and plan, reminds me of the stakes I have in maintaining control of my own health and treatment. It is my servant.

The Fear is my enemy. It is the tumor's parting gift to me, the not-so-secret ally of the two other cancers still lurking in my gut. The Fear strives to be my master.

I will be afraid, but I will not be Afraid.

[links] Link salad Monday edition

csinman's LOLCatScan of me in the hospital — With bonus hilarity in comments.

Don't forget to vote in the cancer funnies poll — I'll be closing this out tonight or tomorrow, because we've got another contest coming up.

Nightmares in copy editing

Mopery with intent to creep — Hahahaha.

The odds against interstellar panspermia — This is freaking fascinating.

Advertising in the clouds — Mmm. Just what we needed. (Thanks to tetar.)

Nuclear threat sparked tea worry — "The threat of a nuclear attack on the UK in the 1950s caused concern over the supply of tea, top-secret documents which have now been released reveal." Nice to see someone had their priorities right during the Cold War. (Thanks to danjite.)

Chinese companies outsourcing to the US because of lower costs — Wow. Bush really is taking us back to Third World status.

Time in saddle: 0 minutes (away from home, some light walking instead)
Last night's weigh-out: n/a
This morning's weigh-in: n/a
Currently reading: The Alchemy of Stone by Ekaterina Sedia Amazon ]


[cancer] Wrapped in loving arms

I was reflecting today on a somewhat odd experience I had with IVs in both hands. This is due in part to Henry the Hematoma with which one of my IVs gifted me across the back of my left hand. I can remember sitting in the hospital feeling strangely comforted by their embrace. The IVs tied me to the bed, kept me whole when I was allowed no food for two days, brought me blood and water. They were proof that Medical Science Had Taken Me Up.

When it came time to remove them, I was slightly regretful. Being home now, waiting for the upcoming surgery, I am on my own. The hospital isn't wrapped around me. Instead I have lasirenadolce, the_child, my parents, my siblings, my aunts, kenscholes and karindira, each taking their turn holding me — literally or figuratively. But in this world, the real world, no one has taken me up. I am my own man, with a monster in my gut.

A few folks have asked if I mind them praying for me. This is a courtesy, given that most people are aware of my staunch atheism. My response has been, "I know what prayer means to you, and that means a lot to me. Please, do." At this point I'm aware of four Christian congregations and a Buddhist temple praying for me.

I've also been asked if I want to "get right with God" before I go into the surgery. That was a sincere question from someone I like, so all I said was, "God and I are fine." Which is true. He never calls, He never writes, but then neither do I. Meanwhile my relentless empiricism researches cancers and cures, while my underlying logic makes contingency plans and contemplates shaving my arms. I'm right with the world, that's more than good enough for me.

On another note, the_child and I were discussing the cancer yesterday morning, before I lit out for the coast with the redhead. She wanted to know that if they were cutting away part of the inside of my butt, what about the ants? The ants, I asked? Yes, how cancer moves around your body like ants in a yard.

I told her that as far as we knew, metastasis hadn't happened yet. She opined in that case this surgery would be like cutting out the anthill before the fire ants got out.

So yes, my daughter, they're going to cut the anthill out of my ass. All while I'm wrapped in the loving arms of my family, friends and the world. That includes you guys reading and commenting here, very much so.

Tomorrow: what kateyule has done for me, brilliantly.