Jay Lake: Writer

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[Cancer]

[cancer] The lighter side of darkness, or, why I don’t live in the shadows

Walking this morning with the pump on, I pulled a banana out of my pocket. The first bite hit my mouth and pain shot through my molars and the back of my jaw. I began shouting and sort of leaping about. was concerned at my inarticulate yowling. I was having rocking episode of cold sensitivity plus peripheral neuropathy (though how peripheral is my jaw, really?) from a freaking banana.

A bit of logic applied to the situation made us realize that we’d been outside in <45 degree weather for almost 45 minutes, and that my cheeks and jaw were cold from the outside air. The banana was also somewhat chilled from riding in my pocket. Still, such a strange thing. That being said, I've been talking a lot about side effects, about the pain and distress and discomfort and emotional trainwrecks. Both and have suggested it might be good for me to talk about the fundamentally positive view I’ve been taking. I’m confident in my strong chances for a full recovery. I know the chemo is a close-ended process, not a lifetime affliction. I love and am loved beyond reasonable measure. My lovers, family and friends keep very close tabs on me, and care for me, whether they’re in the room with me or are sadly far away. Even when I sleep alone in a quiet house, I am surrounded by love and caring.

So I talk about the low points often. That’s how I cope, by externalizing the pain and difficulty. I think it also helpful to some of my audience to read this, because most people in my position don’t discuss these things in detail. Others of you are perhaps learning things for character studies, or for future need with your own loved ones. In truth, I talk about it here most of all because it helps me. These things should not be shameful or hidden. Even the lower GI nastiness and the sexual dysfunction.

But neither should I fail to talk about the jokes (some of which I can’t repeat here), the laughter, the good food, the caregiving, the smiling, the attention, the calm times of mine. I am on schedule with Endurance. I am on schedule with the Sekrit Editing Projekt. I am keeping up my responsibilities as a parent, at the Day Jobbe. I am healing, taking care of myself, allowing myself to be taken care of. I am exercising every day. I am doing what I can, what I must, and I am allowing myself to be loved and care for.

Life is as good as it can be right now. I don’t mean to touch the dark side overmuch, for there is much light in my life, too.

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