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[cancer] When hope comes in boxes too small to fit my dreams - Lakeshore — LiveJournal
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Jay Lake
Date: 2011-11-15 05:41
Subject: [cancer] When hope comes in boxes too small to fit my dreams
Security: Public
Tags:cancer, conventions, health, personal, travel, writing
Beyond all the day to day chaff of having been quite ill recently, my psychological challenge now is how to parse the recent scan results showing me as currently being free of metastatic disease. They come with a sell-by date, you see, and have to re-assessed every four months. So my sense of being clean, of being clear, of being healthy, has an embedded time-based constraint.

This conflicts with my view of my novel-writing schedule, which I normally have a handle on about two calendar years in advance. It conflicts with my travel and convention schedule, which is normally about one to two years out on a rolling basis. It conflicts with my desire to get out in the dating world with an intent to build a new core relationship, a process that certainly takes more than four months, especially given that three of these next four months are going to be consumed in finishing chemotherapy and the difficult early stages of the nearly year-long process of recovering from it.

So how do I find hope when it comes in boxes too small to fit my dreams? What does it mean to be healthy not long enough to do the next thing that wants or needs doing?

I don't know the answers. I won't know them for a while, or maybe ever. I'm very reluctant to dice down my dreams, but you go to life with the hope you have.

I wonder what to do next.

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mlerules: labyrinth
User: mlerules
Date: 2011-11-15 14:35 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I wish I had some answers or words of wisdom to share w/you. Hopefully you'll gain some clarity when you start to come up from the fog in a few months. You never know who'll wander into your life 'til you start fishing about, what friends you'll make, what feelings might start to develop w/someone new.

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W. Lotus: Tending the Flame
User: wlotus
Date: 2011-11-15 15:51 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Tending the Flame
Do you know or read the writing of anyone with chronic or terminal illness? Perhaps they have some answers that would help you cope.
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User: scarlettina
Date: 2011-11-15 17:05 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
What to do next? Um. Pick something and move forward. Don't let the uncertainty stop you. It seems to me like the only course you've got: Keep living the best you can.
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User: martianmooncrab
Date: 2011-11-15 18:11 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
So how do I find hope when it comes in boxes too small to fit my dreams

collect them and stack them up... baby steps get you there eventually, it just takes a bit more to do it. Its good to have goals, never let them go, you just have to rethink the journey a bit.
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markbourne: choco heart
User: markbourne
Date: 2011-11-15 18:36 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:choco heart
scarlettina and martianmooncrab speak wisely. Move forward toward the distant horizon; don't pull the horizon closer to you.
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Kari Sperring
User: la_marquise_de_
Date: 2011-11-15 19:50 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I wish I had something useful to say. Very best wishes.
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User: keikaimalu
Date: 2011-11-16 03:22 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I personally think that the best way to deal with shit like this is to deliberately and consciously narrow down your focus to today. This moment. You can spend all your time and energy chasing the gremlins around your head, or you can try to step back, let them be, and find something closer in to focus on.

My 2 cents.
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User: torreybird
Date: 2011-11-16 03:39 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I feel certain that the advice above is the right advice, the sane advice, the actionable (ew) advice.

But fiercely, stubbornly, defiantly, I hope you hope big anyway, and break the damn boxes.

The very worst thing that happens when hope goes abroad without armor, is that the people you love dearly will suffer.

The very worst thing that happens when you chop your hopes to a manageable, digestible fragment of what you know they could be, is that those who love you dearly will suffer.

There will be suffering. Should there not also be great big hopes, when dreams exist to be borne?
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