November 5th, 2009


[links] Link salad talks to the surgeon

Soviet War Paintings — Some very striking art here. (Snurched from Gurney Journey.)

Sex, then amnesia...and it's no soap opera — Weird. Some dance to remember, some dance to forget, I suppose. (Thanks to mikigarrison.)

Weird Stuff McDonalds Sells Around The World — A special investigative report from Dark Roasted Blend. In case you were wondering.

A Bell Helicopter lands on a Vermont Transit Flxible Clipper — Vintage weirdness. Some things happen simply because they can. Which may in fact explain much that goes on in my life.

Mars is sublime — Some seriously cool imaging.

Some Real Mature Women, And Some More Of They Friends... — Ta-Nehisi Coates on the myth of the Golden Age. Money shot: This is a theme residing in the conservative soul--a professed, thinly-reasoned skepticism of the fucked-up now, contrasted against a blind, unquestioning acceptance of the hypermoral past.

?otD: How many lungs does one man need, anyway?

Body movement: 60 minute suburban walk
Hours slept: 6.5
This morning's weigh-in: 234.6
Currently reading: The Jade Man's Skin by Daniel Fox


[cancer] Seeing the surgeon today

Seeing the thoracic surgeon today. calendula_witch could not be here, so ginastonge is stepping up to be my eyes and ears. I'm amazingly calm this morning. The pot is boiling, but quietly.

On my walk I was thinking about the things I'm afraid of. Some of them are valid, many are emotional responses to the ongoing stress of the situation. Oddly, I'm not particularly afraid of dying (though that's certainly not in the cards at the moment anyway, as anything more than the usual risks of showering, driving the car, etc.).

Things I am afraid of in surgery, chemo and beyond:
  • Losing my ability to write

  • Losing my sexuality

  • The clouding of my thoughts

  • Endless fear

  • Allowing myself to become a victim

  • The processes of chemotherapy

  • That I will be playing whack-a-mole with cancer for the rest of my life

  • That I will keep hurting those who love me by never getting well

  • Leaving the_child, calendula_witch and my parents behind

  • Not being able to be me any more

In truth, the list goes on and on, but most of it boils into the above points. I continue to face it down and move on, because in truth, what else is there to do? A close friend who is a double cancer survivor says, "I don't wear the pink hat." I suppose I wear the pink hat when I talk about this, but what I want most is normalcy, and I am afraid that is gone forever.

Today I find out more. More information is always better.


[cancer] Excising the nacho; or; the surgical plan

Went to see the thoracic surgeon today. ginastonge drove me, as I was extremely stressed out. The thoracic surgeon is young, capable and has an excellent chairside manner. This is much like my colorectal surgeon, frankly, though you'd never confuse the two of them.

He started by asking me a few questions about my medical and surgical history, Collapse )

What does this all tell me? Well, it reinforces that medicine is an art as much as a science. It confirms that this sucker is a problem, and is being addressed. But most of all, this tells me once again that when I have a course of action, no matter how dreadful things are, they are much more manageable than when I have only uncertainty before me. I expect the Fear will be a regular friend to me in these next few weeks, and I have a long-time horror of anaesthesia, but I will pass over these, too.

In the mean time, I believe I shall refer to my impending dip into surgery as a "nacho-ectomy".