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[cancer] A pair of semirandom lists - Lakeshore — LiveJournal
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Jay Lake
Date: 2010-08-17 05:18
Subject: [cancer] A pair of semirandom lists
Security: Public
Tags:cancer, health, personal
Some things that irritate me about the cancer experience.
  • Cold, cold hands and numb feet from peripheral neuropathy

  • Irregular sleep

  • Irregular lower GI

  • Emotional jags

  • Screwing up my writing schedule

  • Casting a pall on the future

Some things the cancer experience has granted me.
  • A keen awareness of how much I am loved

  • An opportunity to come to terms with my mortality

  • Renewed sense of priority

  • Heightened awareness of my somatic self

  • Perspective — so much fucking perspective I could mine it and sell it by the long ton

What have the great trials of your life taught you?

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User: cypherindigo
Date: 2010-08-17 12:26 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Patience and persistance.
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User: anton_p_nym
Date: 2010-08-17 12:33 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Most recently (ie: yesterday) I learned that if you're known as the quiet and diligent type, if you do pitch a hissy-fit it gets really noticed. (Perhaps even noticed too much.)

-- Steve's wondering if this belongs here or over on "Learn From My Fail".
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User: brownkitty
Date: 2010-08-17 18:45 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I wouldn't count it as a fail.
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wyld_dandelyon: full moon
User: wyld_dandelyon
Date: 2010-08-17 12:36 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:full moon
I think the first thing I've learned is something I believe you are aware of--that you don't have to have a big-D Disease, one that everyone recognizes is life threatening and life changing, to have your sleep and memory, your productivity and enjoyment of life stolen away, sometimes slowly enough that you don't realize what you've lost.

Maybe that's the hardest--when it creeps up so slowly you don't realize that you've lost capacity, even while you're crippled by it.

And it's humbling when you find out something you can do--or not do--that helps you recover some of that capacity, pretty much by accident!
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User: jackwilliambell
Date: 2010-08-17 13:38 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
What have the great trials of your life taught brought you?

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User: madrobins
Date: 2010-08-17 14:04 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
That staying calm in a crisis is key...and that falling apart afterward is inevitable (and permissable).
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User: shelly_rae
Date: 2010-08-17 16:58 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'm good in crisis. Calm, capable, collected but I do fall apart afterward and it ain't pretty. I'm not sure about permissable when people have come to rely on you. Not even forgiveable sometimes.

But like wise Ms. Bourne says below, not all battles are worth fighting, many things don't matter. It all changes when the chips are down.

I'd also add.

Take opportunities--you may not be able to later. Or is that Priorities? A small difference perhaps...
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User: e_bourne
Date: 2010-08-17 14:15 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Not all battles are worth fighting

Most things don't matter

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Kari Sperring
User: la_marquise_de_
Date: 2010-08-17 15:22 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I ought to have an answer for this, after my crash-and-burn of 2000-1. I don't know if I do, other than a feeling that an iron sense of duty will do its best to kill you. And that I'm happier and safer as a writer than as an academic.
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User: torreybird
Date: 2010-08-17 15:30 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
an iron sense of duty will do its best to kill you.

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User: torreybird
Date: 2010-08-17 15:29 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
When I lost the Pearl of Great Price down the Great Sewer of Circumstance, I destroyed myself with worry: Did I stumble? Should I have destroyed the Pearl with piercing, and thereby secure it?

I learned I should quit feeling guilty about circumstances beyond my control, and instead examine my motivations, my decisions, my actions - and learn the lessons available.

Sometimes, the lesson is only that the Sewer stinks.
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scarlettina: All my own stunts
User: scarlettina
Date: 2010-08-17 15:51 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:All my own stunts
We are all far stronger than we realize. We may not like the necessity of manifesting that strength, but we are and we can.

God (or Providence or Osiris or Luck...or Loki) helps those who help themselves. But he always waits for you to go first.

We always underestimate the willingness of those around us to help when things go south.

And, for better or worse, the sun always comes up tomorrow.
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W. Lotus: Peaceful
User: wlotus
Date: 2010-08-17 16:25 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Agnosticism, for starters. Years of believing in (or trying to, anyway) and worshiping a divinity did NOT help me get through the trials I have encountered in life, so far.

I learned to appreciate the good moments when they happen, and to strive to do so without looking over my shoulder to see what is coming next.
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When life gives you lemmings...: Italian Shoes
User: danjite
Date: 2010-08-17 17:20 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Italian Shoes
Walk tall, smile at everyone.

Take every meeting.

Live like a slightly fragile hedonist.

And, of course, all systems that have their basis in magical thinking are equal.

Lots ticking in my mind lately.... I have stopped aspiring to classic car ownership, ditto motorcycles. While fun, the things are dangerous and anti-environmental.

Shift happens...

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MEG: Jacket
User: djelibeybi
Date: 2010-08-17 17:20 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
What have the great trials of your life taught you?

Do it now and do it hard.
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User: deborahjross
Date: 2010-08-17 18:09 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Crisis: the only way out is through, and if I am willing to walk through the darkness, to feel what I must feel, then I will not only survive but grow.

Breathe. No matter what else is going on, breathe. If you can't do anything else, breathe.

Take things one day at a time. If that's too much, one hour or even one minute at a time.

Celebrate moments of grace. Cultivate gratitude.

Ask for help and be ready to receive it in unexpected forms from even more unexpected sources.

My experience of pain and loss can be a wellspring of compassion for the suffering of others. I am determined that good shall come of my sorrow.
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User: brownkitty
Date: 2010-08-17 18:52 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Things can be replaced.

Home doesn't have to be a particular location. It can be a mindset, an environmental factor, a culture, a person, a concept.

A generous spirit is a valuable thing. People will attempt to use it. They're not always aware of it. Don't let any of that stop you.

If you're keeping score in a relationship, that relationship is in trouble. Because you're keeping score now doesn't mean you'll be keeping score next year, next month, next week, next minute.

Maybe, sometimes, a personal vocation shouldn't be a professional ones.

A hug may not fix it. Lack of a hug may well break it beyond repair.
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miki garrison: bridge troll
User: mikigarrison
Date: 2010-08-17 20:10 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:bridge troll
* That what is really, truly most important to me in life is sometimes different than what I'd always assumed -- when you start having to tightly ration energy and caring, your choices can tell you a lot about yourself. I've tried to carry that lesson over to my non-crisis life, but it's something I have to be on top of on a regular basis -- it's far too easy for me to get sucked into spending too much of my time on what I *think* should be important to me rather than on what really is.

* That the people I enjoy doing fun things with are not always people I can count on when I need them -- and the harder lesson here is that this is ok. A friend does not need to be able to meet all my various needs to still be a good friend.

* Letting myself have a "lazy" day with no expectations can be an incredibly important thing.

* Financial stress makes almost all crises harder to deal with, and crises increase the odds of financial stress. If I'd realized this 20 ago the degree to which I do now, I would have made very different choices.

* It can be really hard not to smack people who feel the need to tell you how "lucky" you are to be coping so well, or surviving this crisis, etc. It's not luck, it's damned hard work. In some cases it's damned hard work now, and in some cases it's the damned hard work I put in earlier to give myself a cushion and flexibility for crises.
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shelly_rae: Are We There Yet?
User: shelly_rae
Date: 2010-08-19 16:26 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Are We There Yet?
Miki--you are spot on with that last item. Yes, I'm lucky to alive but dammit, what kind of luck gave me cancer at 19? And again more recently? And the bike crash?

I've worked hard to come back from all that. I "pass" for normal until you pay attention. Lucky, ppffft.

Cue Hee Haw song, "if it weren't for bad luck I'd have no luck at all"...but I'm not doom and despair despite the agony. I think I've done pretty good in crisis--helping out others as much as possible.

If I'm s lucky perhaps I'll win the lottery? May I have a gold star now?
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