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Lakeshore
An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2012-04-14 06:56
Subject: [cancer] I got me the brain-eating heebie jeebie blues
Security: Public
Tags:books, cancer, child, currents, family, friends, health, personal, process, sunspin, work, writing
Sometimes the universe sees fit to hand me a blunt force comeuppance. Just a couple of days after I blog about how I can always find time to write, and that I am almost never blocked [ jlake.com | LiveJournal ], I am blocked.

Yesterday was very hard for several reasons that don't have much directly to do with cancer. Thursday night's misadventures with leaving my wallet in Lincoln City had me both badly exhausted and short slept. These days it's easy to forget that I'm less than four months out of chemotherapy, but I do still tire more easily than in baseline health. So I started yesterday feeling like hell. Then I spent most of the day at the hospital with a friend. (Yes, everything's fine, but I still spent most of the day at the hospital.) While simultaneously juggling a difficult set of Day Jobbe issues that ran on well into the evening. (Yes, everything's fine, but I still spent most of the day juggling difficult issues.)

Yesterday was pretty much a loss from a writing perspective. But I knew it would be going in, and declared it as such. In fact, yesterday was such a loss that I went lights out at eight o'clock last night. That's way early for post-chemo me. Slept solid for over nine hours, too, so obviously I needed it badly.

The joker in the deck isn't all that. Physically, I feel pretty recovered this morning. I'm giving myself a break and not rushing into my day as I am wont to do. It's the cancer stress that's killing me now, and was almost certainly killing me yesterday as well.

The next CT scan is Monday, two days from now. The next round of oncology appointments are Wednesday, four days from now. These scans are always very, very hard on me. Any of them could be a death sentence for me. Any of them could mean I lose yet another year of my personal, social, emotional and writing life to surgery and chemotherapy. And that's even if I have no reason not to think I'm clean, that I'm not cancer-free.

Unfortunately, at the moment, there is good reason to suspect I'm not clean.

As you know, Bob, we found a new lesion on my liver as a result of my prior CT scan in February. The clinical status of that lesion is undetermined. But given my personal history of throwing metastases on a roughly annual basis, it's very, very hard for me to be optimistic about this.

My brain is empty. The stress monster has slurped it up, burped it out, and shit in my empty skull just as a special bonus.

I'm almost certain there will be no writing today. I'll be amazed if there will be any writing between now and next Wednesday's oncology appointments. Unfortunately, right now I am in book mode [ jlake.com | LiveJournal ]. I have deadlines, admittedly self-imposed, but no less real for that.

Cue a cycle of guilt, recrimination, and irritation. Irritation at myself and at the cancer.

The objective reality of this situation is that I'm nicely ahead of schedule on Their Currents Turn Awry. I budgeted April and May to complete this draft, and I'm only 50-60,000 words from being done. Possibly a bit fewer. Given that I have seven weeks left, and I'm averaging 3,000 words per writing day on this project, I have loads of time.

But objective reality isn't exactly the point here. The cancer-induced brain-eating heebie jeebie blues are the point here. Or not.

Today, I'll go to [info]the_child's lacrosse game, visit [info]lizzyshannon, have lunch with my parents, visit with my friend H—, and still have plenty of time to write if the vapor lock in my head clears up. Even if the vapor lock doesn't clear up, I'll have a fun, busy day with people I care about, who care about me. Tomorrow is just as committed, hiking with friends in the morning, then dinner with [info]mlerules, then an evening conference call on an exciting new project.

I'm doing the best I can here. Unfortunately, cancer laughs at my best. Stupid fucker is eating my life.

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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2012-04-14 14:39 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I think your best is pretty damned awesome. I wish there was some way to alleviate your anxiety but it is after all a perfectly normal reaction to what you're going through. That doesn't make it any less painful for you, or your friends and loved ones. All we can do is let you know we're thinking about you, and rooting for you every step of the way.
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threeoutside
User: threeoutside
Date: 2012-04-14 14:41 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Sorry, that anonymous post was mine. I had to buy a new Mac this week, and for some reason, this morning it decided not to use my log-in automatically. It did yesterday. This thing baffles me.

Terry Hickman
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threeoutside
User: threeoutside
Date: 2012-04-14 14:41 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
OK, so where is that first post?

*sigh*

Just to let you know you're not alone, your friends and family are rooting for you all the way. And your best is pretty damned awesome.
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mlerules: Brain
User: mlerules
Date: 2012-04-14 15:14 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Brain
Well, TMM, this was gonna happen (based on past history), but at least it held off 'til just a few days (rather than weeks) before the next scan. Glad you've got good stuff w/friends 'n' fambily going on to keep ya' bizzy 'til then. *keeping digits x-d for clean/unworrisome scan & good onc appt & another chunk o' time w/the healthy-brand of you*
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martianmooncrab
User: martianmooncrab
Date: 2012-04-14 18:26 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Lighten up on yourself. (rattling the silverware drawer at this point) Do what you have to, do what you can, and then do what makes you happy.

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biomekanic
User: biomekanic
Date: 2012-04-14 19:54 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Fuck cancer, fuck it right in ear.

Also, on a happier note, here's an icon of my cat, who is cute, and unfortunately knows it.
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Kari Sperring
User: la_marquise_de_
Date: 2012-04-15 17:54 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Hug.
Kari xx
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