Jay Lake (jaylake) wrote,
Jay Lake

[personal|cancer] Stress, cancer and me

I slept over eight hours last night, and still woke up tired. Last week was a very tough week, combining business travel, the slow reveal of my new and ambiguous cancer status, and a Friday evening spent in the ER with a close family member. My schedule has been very off its norms, as have my eating habits. As a result, my weight has shot up again, which happens when I am eating from stress, eating out of the house, eating carelessly, and eating at odd times.

In broad terms, eating is my go-to compulsive behavior in response to stress, rather than drinking or otherwise acting out. This is probably the largest unresolved self-care issue in my life which is within my behavioral control — unlike, say, the cancer, of which I simply have to endure the vagaries.

There's been plenty of good stuff as well. Personal life is going well, writing life is going well, [info]the_child is doing well. But none of those things grant me more sleep or repair the gaping holes in my schedule or fully balance out the high stress stuff when it hits.

As for the cancer, I haven't had a meltdown over the new round of information. I think I've been too busy to do it. I keep expecting to hit some stumbling block and just lose my shit. Cancer does have that effect on me, especially around the time of diagnosis. On the other hand, being a cancer patient has pretty much evolved into my ground state. The human mind really can routinize almost anything.

In any case, I'm seeing both my medical oncologist and my liver surgeon this Wednesday, and that may be enough to trigger me.

The advantage of a meltdown, of course, is the massive release of the rolling boil of stress and fear and despair that cancer induces in me. If I don't find a way to let all that out, well, then I wind up doing things like eating too much. The disadvantage of a meltdown is, well, it's a meltdown. I act like I've lost my mind for a while, and I'm embarrassed later. And it's a tossup whether a meltdown is best performed alone or in trusted company. Not around [info]the_child, however. I am the dad, and while I am not afraid to show weakness, being human and all, losing my shit in front of her is just a bad idea.

So I wander tired, fat and cancer-riddled through my days, waiting for the emotional mugging I can see lurking in the shadows.

Tags: cancer, child, family, food, personal, writing

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