[cancer|photos] More on love and surgery

As previously mentioned, and came by Sunday night, November 29th, shortly after my discharge from the hospital for the thoracic surgery. has an ongoing project of shooting writers in their writing spaces, which had been the original idea even before this round of cancer treatments had been scheduled. Once I knew I’d be sidelined from the surgery, I encouraged them to come anyway, with the notion of documenting some of the physical reality of my cancer experience, both the love and the pain.

and were here at Nuevo Rancho Lake that evening, taking care of me with help from . was present as well. and showed up, bustled about with some equipment, then began shooting me as I lay on (and in) my bed, showing my surgery scars and talking about my experiences a bit. I’m pretty sure the Dilaudid did most of the talking, frankly.

The pictures range from striking to heart-rending. Some are difficult to look at, due to the fresh scarring; others show the love in my life with startling clarity. I think they tell the story more than my words do, so without further ado:

Jay Lake and Shannon Page [19]







Jay Lake [26]

As usual, more at the Flickr set.

Images © 2009 Kyle Cassidy. All rights reserved. Reproduced here with permission.

4 thoughts on “[cancer|photos] More on love and surgery

  1. Liz Argall says:

    Wow Jay, thank you so much for sharing these. They are indeed photos full of love. Through the strange smallness of the world Kyle Cassidy came round to our lovely host’s place after the shoot (and photographed his sweetheart in Annaliese’s mermaid tank). After hearing about the shoot I was hoping so much we could see them.

    Thanks again.


  2. That you’re back to writing while still on (serious) painkillers is a testament to your devotion, Jay. Having been on schedule ones myself, I don’t think I had the clarity to compose a full paragraph while under the influence. Saluting you from the heartland.

    Oh, and those are wonderful pictures.

  3. Thank you, Jay, for giving us this gift. I know how important and difficult it can be to share the intimate details of cancer treatement, but there are moments of true beauty and love within all the pain, terror, and horror. The photographer has captured all these elements with amazing insight and clarity.

    My heart goes out to you.


  4. Wow. Your openness and honesty about this is overwhelming to me, more than the actual photographs; although they are, of course, moving.

    Thank you for sharing, and allowing us to look at our own lives in a different way – which, in my opinion, seems to be the major point of this.


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