Log in

No account? Create an account
An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2010-08-01 08:27
Subject: [cancer] Again with the coping
Security: Public
Tags:calendula, cancer, child, family, health, personal
Serious discussion with calendula_witch yesterday about how cancer continues to inflect our lives. This was sparked by a number of factors, including a talk with a dear friend about their brother's rapid decline with a cancer much more aggressive and advanced than mine.

I continue to be reminded that my life has almost literally become a nightmare. The one where you run and run from some dire threat, but you can never quite escape. You're not fast enough, your feet get stuck, you trip and slip. If not a nightmare, a B-movie horror flick.

This isn't something I spend a lot of time thinking about. I'd make myself crazy if I did. But it is one of those inflections.

I've also realized that I'm going to have to be a lot more ruthless about allowing emotional and social drama to go on around me. Simply taking care of myself borders on the overwhelming, let alone my immediate and deep obligations to the_child, calendula_witch, my parents, and so forth. My powerful instinct is to help those around me. If cancer will leave me the hell alone, I can go back to being that person. But that's not who I am today. The hard, selfish decision to focus on myself first wherever humanly possible will be critical if and as this third round of cancer treatments go forward.

Also, I had an insight yesterday about cancer treatment and class privilege. I'll expand that into a blog post for this afternoon or tomorrow morning, mostly just to explore my own thoughts. Speaking as someone who benefits from a fair amount of class privilege, this isn't the most comfortable topic for me, but that makes it all the more interesting.

As always, more to come.

Post A Comment | 10 Comments | | Flag | Link

User: fjm
Date: 2010-08-01 15:30 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Always good to hear you.
Reply | Thread | Link

User: coppervale
Date: 2010-08-01 16:15 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
You know, I keep having this feeling... an impulse, or inclination, or...something, a desire, maybe, that I want to be in front of you, clearing your path with a baseball bat. Yeah - that's what I want to to do: I want to be able to fend off anything that's oppressing you, so that you won't even know the threat was there, then be able to turn to you, nod, and say "You're all clear, brother. Do what you've got to do. I'll keep it all back."

Those are the vibes I focus on when I think of you, man. Those are what I'm sending your way.
Reply | Thread | Link

User: klwilliams
Date: 2010-08-01 16:22 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Yeah, it's going to have to be about you and yours for a while. The people with drama can find other help.
Reply | Thread | Link

Leah Cutter: Battle lines
User: lrcutter
Date: 2010-08-01 16:47 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Battle lines
Absolutely, you need to focus on you and yours at this point. And some people are just not going to make the cut, as it were. I've done similar things (does this person or this thing make the writing easier/better? If not, I'm sorry, I'm not going to associate with them/it anymore.) Take care of yourself, and be as gentle with yourself as you can be.

Thinking of you.
Reply | Thread | Link

Twilight: EveryoneNeedsGramSometimes
User: twilight2000
Date: 2010-08-01 17:37 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Taking care of you and your family has to be paramount - that should be something anyone around you can understand. The rest of us will cheer, from the sidelines, and do what we can when you ask or we see an opportunity to help.

Bright Blessings - on you and yours. love.

And what coppervale said!
Reply | Thread | Link

User: elizaeffect
Date: 2010-08-01 17:51 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:kirk this sux
I totally hear you on the "ruthless pruning of emotional obligations" front. Sometimes I think that fibromyalgia turned me into a whiny jerk, but I have to be the one to remind friends and relatives that I can't hike ten miles/stay up all night playing Rock Band, or nobody will. I'm a lot less patient with other people's bullshit and a lot more willing to look like an asshole if it means scoring a seat on the train or stopping drama at the source.

It's a side of disability/illness that I think isn't really explored in the popular consciousness, except in a sort of generic "bitter amputee" format that Hollywood loves. Just taking care of yourself when you're at a disadvantage energy- and health-wise becomes a major attention-suck, and people don't always understand that.

Anyway, soldier on, we're all pulling for you. :P
Reply | Thread | Link

User: deza
Date: 2010-08-01 18:01 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It's funny. I've gone through the same emotional battening down of the hatches. There are times I'll look at my tween daughter and say "I just don't have the energy to deal with your friend-drama today." I feel like a total bitch every time I say it, but I say it anyway.

You know what? No one has blamed me for it. No one hates me for not being "there" for them the way I wish I could be. There have been no accustions, no recriminations, no bags of flaming dog poo left on the doorstep. I'm blessed with friends and family who understand there are times when you have to take that step back, for your own physical and emotional well-being.

My sincere wish for you is that you be similarly blessed. *hugs*

ETA: Why is it that writing while flat on one's back in bed leads to so many typos?

Edited at 2010-08-01 06:02 pm (UTC)
Reply | Thread | Link

User: shaolingrrl
Date: 2010-08-01 18:43 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Sounds good to me.
Reply | Thread | Link

User: maurinestarkey
Date: 2010-08-01 18:54 (UTC)
Subject: You and yours
I like that.
Know that we are out here, cheering you on, thinking the best.
Reply | Thread | Link

User: talekyn
Date: 2010-08-02 02:56 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Those who think you need to be selfless and socially available while fighting cancer (chemo or radiation or both) strike me as being in the same basic camp as those who think you need to be Thinking Only Positive Thoughts and that any acknowledgment of feeling bad is "giving in to cancer" (a concept you wrote so well about a few months back). No, you don't need to be available to all of us who want/crave your attention and your advice and your personal response. It is okay to focus on you, and your immediate loved ones, and let the rest of the world find its own way for the nonce.
Reply | Thread | Link

my journal
January 2014
2012 appearances