[cancer] More surgery today

I spent some time in bed this morning imagining a world where I declined chemotherapy. (My therapist says I perhaps have too much imagination, I point out that I am a paid professional imaginator.) I imagined not going in to the hospital this morning for more surgery, to have a port implanted in my chest. I imagined not lying in the big chair every two weeks and poisoning myself close to death so the cancer cells would die just a little faster. I imagined not ravaging my body, my mind and my spirit. I imagined not making my private hero’s journey through the dark underground of cytotoxic drugs and spear wounds in my side. Then I imagined the tumors coming back and back and back, as they have proven they can and will do.

I’m not having adjuvant chemo. We don’t have a tumor to target. This entire course of treatment is speculative. Maybe if we do this, it won’t come back. Maybe if we don’t do this, it will come back. Maybe I can live to see my daughter graduate from high school, maybe I can live to love the people in my life and write the books in my soul and see another 10,000 sunrises. Maybe I can not spend my life wandering from opiate haze to chemo daze.

But I will never again be who I was.

Today, I will be an unconscious, naked person whose neck and chest are being opened, to spare the already troubled veins in my arms months of abuse.

Do I embrace this? No.

Do I fear this? Yes.

Do I do this anyway? Of course.

Still, there are some merit badges you never want to earn in this life.

Watch this blog and/or my Twitter feed for surgery updates. will be managing the infofeed today, also via her Twitter feed at @shellyraeclift.

5 thoughts on “[cancer] More surgery today

  1. Hey Jay –

    Just read your “cancer-depression” post and now this one. Didn’t realize you were so sick, man, and sorry to hear it. My thoughts are with you. Good luck today (and every other day), Matt

  2. Well into chemo, I was getting infused, thinking the kind of brain dead thoughts I usually thought about two hours into the infusion (in my course of treatment that was about the point where I got stupid for awhile) I looked at the IV and thought, ‘This can’t be good for me.’

    Well ‘duh’. It’s of course only because the alternative is worse. But yeah, like you, I imagined it. I understood why some people decide not to.

    I’m glad you are.

  3. John Ginsberg-Stevens says:

    You are one spiritually-tough bastard. DO what you think is right for your life, and live on to spite the crazy cells that want to mess you up. Hope all goes well today.

  4. Sydney Duncan says:

    Hang tough, good man.

  5. Meran says:

    I was once told by a hairdresser that I had too much hair… I didn’t go back to her.
    I’ve also been told I have too much imagination.. I don’t talk to those people either.
    I pity those who have little to no imagination… They have no hobbies, don’t read books, and lead dull lives.
    You just keep on doing what you’re doing, Jay; it’s your road to walk on.
    You’re just going to be a bit Borg for a while 🙂

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