Jay Lake: Writer

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[Cancer]

[cancer] The edges in my head

I promised an update on the emotional journey of the past week or two, and so, here it is.

First of all, the big secret which should surprise no one. I am not brave. I am not fearless. I am an arrant, craven coward who loves my life beyond reason. The measured, thoughtful responses you’ve seen from about my cancer have been real, but they haven’t been the whole story by a long shot.

I spent over an hour last night in ‘s arms, sobbing. I cycle through outbursts of fear, grief and rage. Though in truth, most of the time I’m fine, and I can even go a day or two at a time without thinking of it. Much.

No matter what this is, it’s very early stage. Even at the worst case, my personal numbers are much better than the medical statistics. As my mother said, I’ve never been at the center of the bell curve in my life, why would I start now? And we’re a long way from worst case. The lung spot is just as likely to be a scar. The lymph activity could have been a transient infection. The liver is the most difficult to explain away, but it’s also not fuly confirmed.

If I come out of this clean, I’m going to be embarrassed as hell. But embarrassed beats the hot snot out of surgery and chemo. By the same token, surgery and chemo beat the burning bile out of continuing down the cancer road untreated.

So where have I been? In some dark places and some very bright ones. My fundamental nature is quite positive. I can go pretty ‘splat’, but I always bounce back up. I cope by looking over the darkest edges, then walking back from there. These edges are pretty damned dark. But the love of my family and friends, of and , of my virtual community and total strangers: that carries me a long way.

Maybe this will come out clean now, all turn into a combination of scanning errors and the mighty power of coincidence. I hope for that, but I can’t afford to think it, to plan for it. That’s not where the main chance lies right now. I have to look ahead and sort through what will happen next.

In other words, a short and winding road with a lot of weird emotional weather, but some very bright lights and brilliant hearts serving as my guide.

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