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[Cancer]

[cancer] Return of the Fear

It’s been a while since I’ve had to wrestle hard with the Fear. But this new CEA spike is really upsetting me. I was off work yesterday for chemo recovery, and essentially spent the day in a funk of depression, anxiety and, well, the Fear.

The cancer has been going on for four and half years. As it has moved forward, it has slowly accelerated. My initial diagnosis was in April of 2008, single focus in a single site (ie, a lone tumor). I had surgery without chemo, and was told it was Stage I, go home and live my life. A year later, in May of 2009 we found the first metastasis in my lung, though it took some months to come to terms with that. That was a slow-growing, single focus, single site tumor as well. That retroactively pushed me into Stage IV from the beginning. After a false alarm in 2010, the the third round came April of 2011. Still single site, single focus. That was almost a year and half after coming off the first round of chemo.

This time I got eight months after the second round of chemotherapy. And multifocal tumors, one impinging on a second site. Now, two months into my third round of chemo, there is sufficient evidence to be materially concerned that either this chemo isn’t effective, or a new metastasis has presented itself.

You don’t have to be a mathematician to draw this trend line.

I’d been hoping for four more years of life, and figuring on at least two. If we have to stop the current treatment and move on, that shaves about a year off what’s coming, simply because the numbers were based on the assumption that each treatment sequence buys me about a year. Stopping this current current treatment is a double whammy, because I lose one of those years off the front, and I am probably dealing with something even harder to treat, which loses me more time off the back.

So, here I am in an information vacuum until next week’s CT scan, doing what I always do in an information vacuum. Falling prey to my worst impulses. And feeling the Fear scrabbling at me like fingernails on the chalkboard of my life. Trying so hard not to infect everyone around me with it.

I hate this.

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