Jay Lake (jaylake) wrote,
Jay Lake

[cancer] Flying into the forbidding future

My weekend in paradise with [info]the_child did me some powerful good. It also provided some powerful father-daughter bonding, adding credit to a life-deep emotional relationship that should carry us both a little more strongly through this next round of chemotherapy. Because as I draft this post, I am on an airplane that is carrying me back to real life towards a crash every bit as rending as a runway bellyflop on arrival would be.

I am experiencing a lot of fear and trepidation about the forthcoming week. Monday is going to be crazy-busy with work, socializing, medical stuff, getting my head shaved, and a girls' lacrosse game.

And that's about it for my normal life until sometime next year.

Tuesday is lost to the day surgery of having my chest port reimplanted.

Wednesday and Thursday will be in substantial part taken up by post-operative discomfort, as I recollect from the last time I had this surgery. Not to mention the final preparations for chemotherapy.

Friday, well, everything changes.

I will be so very compromised at that point. My cognition won't slip out of gear right away, except while I'm actually on the drugs from Friday to Sunday of the chemo weekends, but it's the beginning of a terrible road. My emotional stability has already been slipping from the medical stress. That will only get worse over time. My sexuality will be out of gear almost immediately, as starting Friday my ejaculate, and even my saliva, will be considered toxic. I won't be off chemo long enough this summer for that to lift. And the erectile dysfunction will be intermittent for the first while, then absolute for months. Plus the fatigue, oh my god the fatigue.

I know my memories of the late stages of chemo are crowding out my memories of how functional I remained early on. Still, it's an abrupt and profound transition from day one. This scares me, it worries me, and I hate it.

Not to mention which, the spectacular failures the last round of chemo introduced into my emotional and personal life weigh very heavily upon me, indeed.

The anxieties are powerful. I see the bullet coming, I know the scars the last shot left on my body and my heart, and I can do nothing but take the hit without flinching. But I dread this, I dread this powerfully.

I go on. There is no way out but forward.

Fuck cancer.

Tags: cancer, child, health, kauai, sex, travel

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