?

Log in

No account? Create an account
[cancer] Living in the past - Lakeshore
An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2011-09-28 05:32
Subject: [cancer] Living in the past
Security: Public
Tags:calendula, cancer, health, personal

Over the last few days I’ve been going through every single blog post since April of 2008 in order to build an index of my cancer blogging. As of last night, that would be 768 posts out of about 4,000. The raw index (ie, not yet curated by me) can be seen here.

It’s been quite a journey. Reliving the original presentation and the multiple metastases, including the erroneously diagnosed steatosis. The fear, the grief, the pain. Watching the rise and fall of my relationship with [info]calendula_witch, whom I loved more than I’ve ever loved anyone, for all the good it did me in the end.

Not a wayback machine I really needed to climb into.

But this is important. It’s important to have a summary index of key posts so that people new to the blog can get a handle on the cancer blogging if that’s what they’re here for. It’s important to have a listing of the posts so I can begin teasing out a coherent book about it, whether that’s part of the Antarctica project or its own, freestanding effort. It’s important to put some structure on the experience. Because my philosophy from the beginning has been that this is so damned terrible, so damned hard, that I may as well harvest something of value from the experience.

But this review of the past three and half years has been tough. It’s eaten a lot of my time and brainspace, and left me a little more emotionally and mentally numb than I am already wont to be.

The past isn’t such great territory for me these days. Neither is the future. Good thing I can live in the now at least part of the time. Because right now, only the now seems the least bit tenable.

Originally published at jlake.com. You can comment here or there.

Post A Comment | 8 Comments | | Link






mlerules: KITTEN CUTENESS
User: mlerules
Date: 2011-09-28 15:33 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:KITTEN CUTENESS
Now matters muchly. I'm trying to spend lotsa time right now in the here and now myself. Hope you can pull back from perusing the past as needed to be here and live well now (even as that book project sounds really useful and worthwhile - as you note, harvesting some good from a horrid sitch is very good). *hugs*
Reply | Thread | Link



Kari Sperring
User: la_marquise_de_
Date: 2011-09-28 16:01 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I am so sorry, Jay.
xx
Reply | Thread | Link



torreybird
User: torreybird
Date: 2011-09-28 16:45 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Preface: I'm about to challenge your reasoning on a couple of things. I don't want to troll; if these thoughts aren't welcome, please moderate them to oblivion. I'm bringing these up because I hate to see anyone procedurally beat themselves up. You and I are only a couple of degrees separate in this PNW community, and I wouldn't let any friend talk this way and let it slide.

You write:
It’s important to have a summary index of key posts so that people new to the blog can get a handle on the cancer blogging if that’s what they’re here for.

You don't owe your readers a thing. The people new to the blog can do their own digging. Noble and all, but you're a story teller, not a chronicler. You have told and will tell the story. If they want to walk through stories told, they'll find them. You have, after all, helpfully tagged and meta-titled them.

It’s important to have a listing of the posts so I can begin teasing out a coherent book about it, whether that’s part of the Antarctica project or its own, freestanding effort.

Is this the project at the top of your list? Why right now? Aren't you busy enough, with the Child, the ongoing treatment, your day job, and the stories you have yet to imagine?

Also, will you go back and chronicle your short stories and novels, too, in order to tease out a coherent book about writing?

It’s important to put some structure on the experience. Because my philosophy from the beginning has been that this is so damned terrible, so damned hard, that I may as well harvest something of value from the experience.

I think this is the heart of the matter. Fuck the first two, and fuck cancer. Deriving something of value from the great big shit-pile, that's worthwhile. What if the thing of value isn't the shit-pile, but is the green growth that comes from fertilizer? You can turn compost forever, but someday, you have to garden.


Best wishes for happier days ahead.
Reply | Thread | Link



Jay Lake: cancer_tumor
User: jaylake
Date: 2011-09-28 17:10 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:cancer_tumor
You're not trolling. I appreciate the perspectives, and the good wishes.

That being said, I really do see my priorities as what they are, and it's been my intention for a long time to pull this index together this fall, before I slipped into chemo fog too deeply. In a sense, I consider myself a witness to cancer, so talking about in blogs or (future) books is part of that process for me.
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



torreybird
User: torreybird
Date: 2011-09-28 17:44 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thanks for reading in the spirit intended, and for the response.

Witnessing is powerful and heady. Knowing one is about to lose the ability to witness, such as may happen deep in chemo fog, is stark motivation, indeed.

Where there is motivation, there is life. And dammit, that's something. :-)
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



martianmooncrab
User: martianmooncrab
Date: 2011-09-28 17:40 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It’s eaten a lot of my time and brainspace

hmmmm brains....

Without the lows, we cannot appreicate the highs...
Reply | Thread | Link



User: xjenavivex
Date: 2011-09-29 01:12 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
One of the positive things I've seen in your life during this time has been the evolution of the relationship you have with your daughter. I know she is a creative person as well. I've enjoyed reading about the discussions you have about your writing and just life in general. I know that is something good that is threaded through all this pain. I also know that thinking on it also brings other painful thoughts. I appreciate what you are trying to do with the index. I know it hurts. Sucks that it is necessary at all, but that's a given.
Reply | Thread | Link



amphigori
User: amphigori
Date: 2011-09-29 02:07 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Hard going, I'm sure - but if it's brought you some sense of accomplishment or has allowed you to tick something off your to-do list then it's worth it.

Also, living in the now - probably what more people should be doing, myself included. Thanks for the roundabout reminder.

(Also, also, every time I encounter the word roundabout I think of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ljFfL-mL70)
Reply | Thread | Link



browse
my journal
links
January 2014
2012 appearances