[cancer] Today’s state of the Jay

Since I’ve been quite frank about my experiences in these New Adventures in Cancer, I thought I’d lay out where my head is today. A very long walk on the Papillion Creek Trail gave me plenty of time to sort through what I’m thinking and feeling, inasmuch as that’s possible right now.

First off, I am intensely relieved to have the potential cancers down to just the liver anomalies. My colon’s continuing attempts to kill me are very much at issue, but that’s not a battle I need to fight today. Hopefully the lymphatic stuff will stay firmly in the “false alarm” category. The liver stuff will suck, a lot, but it’s constrained. At the same time, I’m also very angry about it. I think this is a healthy anger, falling somewhere between “borderline psychotic will to live” and “kill them all, God will know His own.” Part of what I need to stay mentally, emotionally and physiologically motivated to beat these little tumorous fuckers to death.

Secondly, I’m realizing that the battle of the colon will be a continuing process. Part of how I coped with last year’s Excellent Cancer Adventure was by unconsciously assuming that it was a one-time event, an anomaly, and that I’d return to a normal existence at some point. Clearly this is not the case. This is resetting my emotional horizons in fundamental ways. I have been planning my life in decades, assuming at least til age 70 for active, productive healthy daily existence, and at least age 80 for reasonable health and productivity. While that’s not off the menu — everything going on now is controllable — my risk factors are going to be much higher than the general population for the foreseeable future. It’s not that I think I’m going to die young. It’s that I know I might. So my sense of living for the day, already very strong since last year’s struggle, has been sharpened. I grow monsters in my gut, and sooner or later one of them may kill me. I can live with that, I just need to live in the now, however long the now turns out to be.

Third, the outpouring of love, support and affection here on the blogs, via Twitter, via email, via telephone, in person — it has been overwhelming. Sort of like going to my own funeral, Tom Sawyer style. I have not even pretended to keep up with everyone, for which I am sorry. I want to say the sense of community has been a very powerful part of my ability to weather this experience thus far, and will be a critical aspect of these next phases of the process. Thank you, everyone.

Meanwhile, life goes on. I have been working with to ensure that Pinion stays on track, even if I’m in surgical recovery or chemotherapy. will handle the CEM if needed, likewise galleys. The Day Jobbe is being very supportive and constructive. My family is ready to fight tigers for me. and her mother are giving me close, loving support. I will need a turnstile and a door warden to manage my friends if I am laid up in the hospital or at Nuevo Rancho Lake for a while. and K— are being dear beyond measure in propping both me and up. and I are looking at our near and mid-term plans to make sure we can do everything we need to, and keep me properly cared for as required. After last year, I know how to do this. Not the kind of experience I’d wish on anybody, but I’ve had it, so I may as well use it.

Thank you, every one. And most especially, thank you to , and K—. I love you all.

6 thoughts on “[cancer] Today’s state of the Jay

  1. joe says:

    I vividly remember feeling what you’re feeling, and thinking thoughts similar to yours. Went from, “Well, that was odd–glad to have that behind me,” to having the cancer pay a return visit, and realizing that I’d need to be attentive and diligent about check ups.

    But I’ll say again, because it’s hard to remember and worth repeating: Fear is a liar. It makes ugly stuff seem inevitable–and that just ain’t so. Try to remember that when the fear comes calling.

    You have good docs, you’re keeping a close eye on things, and you’re making good and timely decisions. And that, my good man, is why you will win.

    Our thoughts and prayers remain with you, Jay.

  2. My day job requires reading about cancer and today I came across an article which may be relevant to you. Of course it may not be, or it may be something you already know, but I pass it along in case it’s helpful.

    Apparently a recent paper (here’s a link to the abstract http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17960603) showed that patients with liver metastases of colorectal cancer experienced more major and complete responses to hepatic resection if Avastin (also know as bevacizumab) was added to their FOLFOX regimen. Also of note in the study, the response rates didn’t really differ if patients underwent 8 or fewer cycles or 9 or more cycles of therapy.

    Again, don’t know if this helps, or even if it is relevant to your particular situation, but I pass it along in the hope that it’s of some use.

    1. Jay says:

      Ok, that one’s on the list. Thank you.

  3. Cliff Winnig says:

    I’m sorry to learn this is happening, but I’m glad that words like “false alarm” and “benign” are being mixed in there with the less happy words like “lymphatic” and “polyp.” May this represent a last gasp of the beasties, and may it prove mild. My good wishes go with you.

    1. Jay says:

      Thank you, Cliff

  4. Tamara says:

    I’m praying for you Jay!

    Hugs,
    Tamara

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