Jay Lake: Writer

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[Cancer]

[cancer] It is to update, also, mortality

Slept poorly last night, but in a normal way. Also, I’ve failed to post this week’s ritual burning of the chemo sign, but at the moment cannot find the %@*& SDHD card with the images on it. For those following along at home, the usual lower GI follies have been in force the past twenty four hours or so, albeit more mildly than normal. Likewise loss of appetite and the leading edge of the return of food aversions. On the plus side, I’ve grown a bit of hair back, just in time to lose it again.

I find myself coming back periodically to the idea of stopping the chemo. This is by way of a thought experiment or a visualization, not by way of an actual intention. I think it’s me self-checking the process, my quality of life, and so forth. That necessarily involves a lot of visualization of mortality, which is something I spent time discussing with my therapist yesterday.

In that conversation, I articulated that I’m no longer afraid of being dead. The human mind can normalize just about anything over time, apparently, and I’ve managed to normalize my mortality. In a nutshell, when I’m dead I won’t know the difference, so what is to fear? I’m only minimally afraid of dying at this point, though when the time comes, whether it’s next year or forty years from now, I suspect that will resurge. What I am afraid of is being sick, sick, sick. Months and years of this crap. And everything I lose to being ill — time, energy, damage to my daughter’s life and the rest of my family, social connectedness, writing, everything.

Hence the continued low-grade thought experiments regarding chemo. I want to live. I will live, so long as the disease, medical science and luck allow. This isn’t suicidal ideation, it’s further explorations of the mental and emotional space of cancer.

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