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[cancer] In which I am once again defeated by life - Lakeshore — LiveJournal
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Jay Lake
Date: 2010-05-02 15:25
Subject: [cancer] In which I am once again defeated by life
Security: Public
Tags:cancer, health, ipad, personal, process, writing
Woke up this morning after a good night's sleep feeling fairly decent. Other than my morning trip to the Apple store for the iPad problems, I had a free day ahead of me. My energy was high. No medical crises were in evidence. I planned to log some hours on Endurance and just generally get back into writing after a multiweek absence due to stress and fatigue.

Instead, chemobrain decided to present me with a full scale emotional meltdown. I'll spare you the details, but I wound up going back to bed for an hour, and have been miserable and frazzled ever since.

Guess what? Another day without writing. I've been able to divert myself some with the iPad business, but quite frankly I continue to feel like crap. Angry, resentful, cranky and deeply antisocial. As anyone who's spent more than five or ten minutes with me can attest, these are not my usual behaviors by a long shot. And of course, Not Writing only reinforces my negative feelings.

Cripes I hate this. Seven more weeks til I begin to see some relief.

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User: fjm
Date: 2010-05-02 22:36 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Sending a lot of hugs your way.
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User: auriaephiala
Date: 2010-05-02 22:53 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
How MISERABLE! I hope things get better for you soon.

There was a recent story in a local newspaper about a new study about the links between memory problems and breast cancer (and presumably breast cancer treatment).

Some of the issues mentioned reminded me of the chemo effects you've talked about:

"According to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, many breast cancer survivors report memory problems and say they have difficulty getting assistance to cope. To that end, the organization will give a team of researchers led by Lise Paquet, a Carleton [University in Ottawa, Canada] psychology professor, $65,880 over two years to find out.

"Dr. Paquet said this type of memory problem has not been previously assessed in cancer survivors.

“Women often state that they have difficulties remembering what they are supposed to be doing, such as forgetting to return DVDs as they had intended to do, forgetting why they had gone to a store, forgetting a list that they had made with the intention of using it at the store, and of missing appointments,” says Dr. Paquet. “As this type of memory is involved in daily remembering, our research could validate survivors’ complaints and ultimately lead to better ways of helping them improve the quality of their life following their cancer experience.”
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2010-05-03 19:55 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I hope you don't think me presumptous. All I know of you is from this journal. In my defense, it is a pretty open and complete one.

Anyway: you really need to cut yourself some slack.


In some ways, you and I have similar temperaments. I think you find it difficult to back off from things for which you feel responsible. This is normally a good and admirable trait.

But there are times when it is ok to step back from that, and chemo is definitely one of those times. In fact, I'd be hard pressed to think of something that exceeds it - a death in your immediate family, perhaps. A natural disaster that destroys your house.

I have friends who run ultramarathons, some of them over ridiculously difficult mountain trails. They have all told me (I don't run) that the secret to even finishing these races is knowing when to walk.

Let yourself walk for a bit.
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User: joycemocha
Date: 2010-05-03 00:46 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Hugs. This will all be over soon. Seven more weeks. You're on the downslope now. It will get better.

Many, many hugs. Curl up with a comfort reread and let your mind rest.
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User: keikaimalu
Date: 2010-05-03 00:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'm so sorry, Jay. FWIW, it will pass. But I know that's cold comfort when you're in the middle of the storm.
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User: brownkitty
Date: 2010-05-03 02:04 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
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Mary Dell: joan
User: marydell
Date: 2010-05-03 02:11 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
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wyld_dandelyon: dragon reading
User: wyld_dandelyon
Date: 2010-05-03 05:21 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:dragon reading
I don't blame you for hating it. I remember a friend telling me she broke down at work because, in the moment when she needed it, she couldn't remember how to use a paperclip due to the chemo she was on.

Hang in there. We're all rooting for you.
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Kari Sperring
User: la_marquise_de_
Date: 2010-05-03 10:17 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'm so sorry. May today be better.
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User: beth_bernobich
Date: 2010-05-03 10:22 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:balloon heart
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User: lotusice
Date: 2010-05-03 12:36 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Massive hugs. And then some more hugs, and possibly several hugs after that.

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