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[personal|cancer] The cost of living, or at least not dying - Lakeshore
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Jay Lake
Date: 2010-12-31 07:24
Subject: [personal|cancer] The cost of living, or at least not dying
Security: Public
Tags:calendula, cancer, health, personal
I want to say a few words about the recent ending of the relationship between me and calendula_witch. We have parted ways for reasons that are highly appropriate to her life needs, and which I understand, regardless of my own feelings on the matter. Our bridges are not burned, and in time as I process my reactions, I fully expect to find a way back to the strong friendship that has always characterized our connection. Anything more than that is not mine to publicly discuss.

What is mine to publicly discuss is how my cancer journey has inflected this process. calendula_witch stood by me steadfastly through every minute of the journey of diagnosis, surgery, chemo and more surgery that consumed us between May of 2009 and my emergence from recovery in October of 2010. Her love and support were profoundly sustaining.

But another cost of the cancer, to me, was that I was largely checked out mentally, emotionally and socially from the relationship between November of 2009 (the lung surgery) and October of 2010 (recovery from the liver surgery), and most especially from February to August of 2010 (as the chemo side effects grew, peaked, then tapered off). There were eleven months of her emotional and life transitions that I was essentially not present for.

I don't think for a moment that the cancer caused her to break up with me. Her reasons for leaving me aren't about cancer, or even very much about me at the root. What I do believe, with a sad and enveloping passion, is that had I been mentally and emotionally available over the past year, our relationship might have survived this passage. It might just as well not have, but thanks to cancer and its treatments, we never got the chance to even try to cope or make adjustments until far too late.

In my heart, I will probably always believe that cancer cost me the opportunity to keep this relationship intact. After a year of incredibly high prices paid, deep pain and suffering, losing my connection with calendula_witch is the highest price of all. This is the metastasis of the heart.

Just another damned cost of cancer. I'm still alive, but this outcome is so far from anything I would ever have chosen.

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