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Jay Lake
Date: 2013-07-25 06:44
Subject: [cancer|personal] The poison that is hope
Security: Public
Tags:cancer, conventions, events, friends, health, personal, radiantlisa, travel
Last night, Lisa Costello, [info]mikigarrison and I were discussing yesterday's consultation at some length.

This is good news. Good news in a fantastic number of ways. It means I'll make it to Worldcon. It means I might even have a chance to go to a few more events later on, if my current state of health holds. (Now I'm dreaming of going to the UK for WFC.) It means my friends and loved ones who come to visit me will find me able to be myself for them. Not a gasping patient recumbent in a powered chair. It means I can see [info]the_child into and possibly through another year.

My lease on life has been extended, by at least a few months. In my current state, a few months is tantamount to eternity.

But hope...

Hope is a poison that kills sweetly and slowly. Hope has me believing things that are hurtfully untrue. Hope creates expectations that will be shattered. If cancer has taught me anything this past half-decade, it is to never trust in hope.

So instead I plan, and make contingencies in case those plans go awry. And I limit myself, because even with this good news, I live in a body that exhausts too easily and doesn't always cooperate with even the minima of day-to-day existence. And I am careful to tend that shell I have built, like a caddis fly, out of fragments of pain and discomfort and anger and fear.

Because if I hope too much, I hurt too much. The cancer always raises the stakes. Just because I won this hand doesn't put me up for the game. Not at all. I cannot let myself be tricked into thinking that might be the case. Not even for a moment.

Best to live for this day, and the reasonable anticipation of a few extra days between now and the end.

Post A Comment | 15 Comments | | Flag | Link

User: radiantlisa
Date: 2013-07-25 14:28 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
So glad to have you for another measure of days.
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User: polydad
Date: 2013-07-25 14:30 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I can help a bit with the living for the day part, as my little taste treat has arrived. (they scared me a bit first, sending an email notice that they had completed delivery two days before they actually did so.) I'll see you with it on Saturday at the Holiday Inn -- what time, again?


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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2013-07-25 14:48 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Late afternoon!
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Debbie N.
User: wild_irises
Date: 2013-07-25 14:33 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I do not envy the tightrope you walk. You are in my thoughts, and I wish I could be there this weekend.
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Laura Anne Gilman
User: suricattus
Date: 2013-07-25 15:26 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I will hope, at least, to see you when I hop through Portland next month, your energy levels willing.
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User: keikaimalu
Date: 2013-07-25 15:36 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
One of the fascinating things about witnessing your cancer experiences through your posts is watching the balance between intellect and emotion. I'm a little amazed that you can report so clear-mindedly about your various intensely emotional states.

I don't envy you at all -- but I appreciate that you are creating a roadmap for other people who are blindly trying to cope with such difficult situations in such a marathon as this.

I think I appreciate it even more as a fellow atheist, to whom faith in a God or an afterlife is not accessible as a comforting option.

Still -- I hope we are both wrong, and I hope that there is something after this life. Even if I'm fooling myself, the idea is mightily appealing, both for myself and for others.

I'm glad your results were better than you expected.
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Intelligentrix: Fruit kiss
User: intelligentrix
Date: 2013-07-25 16:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Fruit kiss
This is a good thing indeed, and it lifts my heart a little to hear of it. On a slightly tangential note, are you still collecting little bells? In my packing to move/decluttering, I ran across some little brass ones that I'd like to send you if you are still doing that.
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User: shelly_rae
Date: 2013-07-25 16:49 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Carpe diem dude. Carpe diem.
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User: martianmooncrab
Date: 2013-07-25 18:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
every day is a treasure, even the crappy ones, because without the bad days, we dont appreicate the good ones as much.

or, as I like to say, sure beats the alternative.
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asakiyume: good time
User: asakiyume
Date: 2013-07-25 19:45 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:good time
Yay! So happy for the good news! (Point taken, though, about hope, but here, have this from the ninja girl)

(hmmm, maybe that'll work...)

Edited at 2013-07-25 07:47 pm (UTC)
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User: swan_tower
Date: 2013-07-25 20:07 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I am glad beyond words that you got relatively good news, rather than the expected not-so-good news. It's better than the alternative . . . but yes, it carries its own downside.
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Kari Sperring
User: la_marquise_de_
Date: 2013-07-25 21:42 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I shall, however, hope at my end that we will see you at WFC over here in the UK.
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User: mizkit
Date: 2013-07-26 14:18 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
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Twilight: Daria
User: twilight2000
Date: 2013-07-26 00:39 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Nice to see some good news for a change! Every small bit is a win ni the "Fuck You Cancer" War!
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User: kellymccullough
Date: 2013-07-26 16:49 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Happy that you have a tiny bit of light in the long tunnel even if it is evanescent.
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