Jay Lake (jaylake) wrote,
Jay Lake

[cancer] Purposeful work

I was having coffee with a friend last week. (Well, I was having hot chocolate, since I don't drink coffee, but he was having coffee.) As we chatted, my friend mentioned the need for purposeful work in one's life.

That's one of the biggest issues in my personal world right now. I no longer have purposeful work. My recent school visit was a glimpse of that, but no more. The Day Jobbe is behind me, and while that wasn't exactly a big philosophical focus, it fed my family and kept me interested. My writing life is aso behind me, and that was a big philosophical focus.

These days I spend my time and mental energy, such as it is — an hour or two of cognitive focus per day, at most — on the minutiae of disability insurance and health insurance and financial planning and estate planning. That tends to be endless, soul sucking, and rewarding only the very abstract.

For example, the CT scan appointment I made yesterday after my oncology appointments was posted for October, 2014. I noticed this, called back in and asked for a reschedule. The rescheduled appointment was also for October, 2014. I called back yet again, and finally got the November date the doctor had requested. I had to pay close attention to days and dates, and do multiple followups over the space of half an hour. Me, with my foggy brain and dyscalculia and everything else.

Everything is like this. Swimming in mud, trying to keep up with forms and deadlines and Byzantine procedures. Not purposeful work. Not even remotely so.

So it goes, I guess. I'm still alive. My purposeful work today is to remain alive, to survive my cancer a little longer, and to bear witness to the world of this disease and its tribulations. But that's hardly a job description, and the day-to-day reality of that is alternately finicky and exhausting.

I do less with less, and feel much less rewarded for it. Another thing cancer has stolen from me.

Tags: cancer, friends, health, personal

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