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[cancer] What I think I hate the most - Lakeshore
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Jay Lake
Date: 2011-04-30 05:45
Subject: [cancer] What I think I hate the most
Security: Public
Tags:cancer, health, personal
I hate being crazy in the head from medical stress. This is bad now, even before the cognitive and emotional disruptions of the chemotherapy drugs themselves.

Already I am not being the person I want to be. Already I am not being the person I am. And I'm so very painfully conscious of the staggering cost I paid in my personal life for this disconnect during the last chemo go-round.

I hate this.

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emmainfiniti
User: emmainfiniti
Date: 2011-04-30 12:55 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I am terribly sorry.
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User: brownkitty
Date: 2011-04-30 14:44 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Fuck cancer, and fuck chemo-brain. And lots of warm feelings toward you.
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Keikaimalu
User: keikaimalu
Date: 2011-04-30 16:44 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
My sympathies. I wish there were more I could do than send sympathies.
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User: deborahjross
Date: 2011-04-30 16:54 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:blue hills
For some reason, the role of doula popped into my mind, a knowledgeable, experienced companion who stays with the client through the critical experience (labor, birth) and beyond, providing emotional support, encouragement and wisdom. Once upon a time, this was an older woman in the family; now you can hire them. So I thought of a cancer doula, who'd provide all this and stability, continuity, perspective. An anchor in the storm.
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User: joycemocha
Date: 2011-04-30 23:35 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
You know, a cancer doula is an excellent idea! I wonder why no one's thought of it before.

(I am tempted by it, but the problem is that I am way too empathic in temperament to do it. It would be a challenge to disengage myself. But I know that there are good people who can do such things).
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shelly_rae
User: shelly_rae
Date: 2011-05-01 08:01 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
We call them cancer advocates or cancer buddies. I'm around.
Anon
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adelheid_p
User: adelheid_p
Date: 2011-04-30 17:16 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
My sympathies. My hope is that this is temporary for you. I wish you could be who you want to be all the time but it will come back.
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The NewroticGirl
User: newroticgirl
Date: 2011-04-30 17:32 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
No matter what, you are loved.
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Kari Sperring
User: la_marquise_de_
Date: 2011-04-30 17:51 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Hugs.
Kari xx
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That Which Fights Entropy: eye
User: amberite
Date: 2011-04-30 23:29 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:eye
In connection with your post the other day (the gist of which was "cancer is not the only yardstick") I will share related experiences. The effort that currently occupies my time is the effort to gain enough knowledge and experience to work in medicine someday, and it also makes me frequently unavailable to friends, loved ones and myself: sometimes it's all I can do to come home and not snap at people.

The immediate stakes are lower, but it's still a bandwidth hog. And, I guess, the purpose of this comment is to convey to you that we've developed language around it: "bandwidth" is usually a very good metaphor for acknowledging the problem. Sometimes I can't be in the room at all, because I'm somewhere else doing something. Sometimes I'm in the room, but not all of me is in the room: part of my brain is sleeping, or I'm struggling to sequence my next study task. Sometimes I need more bandwidth than I have, to do my own stuff, and it's frustrating to run up against limits: "Really, it's going to take four hours to download that chemistry concept into my head?... Gaah!"

Although the things that take you out of the room are ultimately more stressful and painful than the things that take me out of the room, I share the bandwidth metaphor in the hopes that it might be useful to you on a day to day basis. It's a tool that doesn't solve problems all by itself, but names them - and sometimes tagging what's going on makes everyone less tense about it.
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User: joycemocha
Date: 2011-04-30 23:39 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
What amberite said. And the comment somewhat solidified some thoughts I've had as well, because of some private ragings and strugglings I've had of late. Too much, too much, too much. But necessary to get where I want to be.

Jay, m'dear, you are loved by many people. We will get you through this. One way or another, you'll get through and survive, and we will make sure of it.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2011-04-30 23:51 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thank you. That's helpful. It's a somewhat more tech-oriented version of the spoons metaphor, I think.
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That Which Fights Entropy: lovelovelove-2
User: amberite
Date: 2011-05-01 00:13 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:lovelovelove-2
It's also more focused on the immediate moment and the usable capability, rather than on the course of a day and the total capability for stuff. Like, I could have lots of spoons today, but if they're all tied up in things that I'm actively doing, it's not useful to my loved ones - there's just not any bandwidth - and it avoids the "but does it really take spoons for you to be lovey at me?" hurt question (answer: not really, but the server is being kind of dodgy about accepting connections until it's done with this massive chunk of whatever.)
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User: joycemocha
Date: 2011-04-30 23:44 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Okay. Anticipation is both positive and negative, and you're currently engaged in negative anticipation.

Hmm. Your therapist has probably already suggested some stress relief techniques, but I'll also poke around in my Interpersonal Neurobiology notes to come up with some further suggestions. If you want.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2011-04-30 23:51 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It's not just negative anticipation, it's brute experience talking. Very sadly so.
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