Jay Lake: Writer

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[Cancer]

[cancer] Surgery today

There’s a place I go right before surgery, in a mental and emotional sense. I become very hard and internal. Not mean or snappish or unloving. Just… focused. I’ve been there since yesterday. Drawing into my body, as it were, and concentrating on what is to come.

Nonetheless, [info]the_child and I managed to have a couple of productive conversations last night about my illness, my prognosis and my mortality. She also spent some time with Lisa Costello and with Mother of the Child. Processing, we’re all processing constantly.

Meanwhile, it is today, and I’m off to the hospital shortly. 6 am check-in time for morning surgery. I probably won’t even go into prep before 7 am, then likely be in the operating room five to seven hours. Recovery sometime this afternoon, then ICU for at least 24 hours.

A few details about the surgery for new or recent readers:

  • This is my fifth major surgery since 2008, all in pursuit of cancer. That includes a colon resection, a lung resection, and two liver resections prior to this, my third liver resection.
  • As a side note, I’ve also had three day surgeries and two very minor outpatient surgeries in connection with this process. All of those were about placing chemo access ports in my chest and removing them again.
  • Today’s surgery has four primary goals:

    First is to resect or radiofrequency ablate all three of my known, existing tumors. This will return me to No Evidence of Disease (NED) status. NED is not a cure, or even a remission, it just means I have no detectable tumors.

    Second is to inspect the site of my fourth, suspected tumor which emerged during last fall’s chemo course. The determination of what that site actually represents may cause a change in my spring chemo course.

    Third is to inspect the rest of my liver for any areas of damage or emergent metastatic disease that may not have been in evidence on the scans.

    Fourth is to secure sufficient tissue samples for whole genome sequencing of my tumor.

It will be a few days before I am meaningfully lucid. I’ll be in the hospital likely through Saturday at least, then recovering at home for a while. Lisa Costello has the keys to both the LiveJournal and WordPress instances of my blog, and she will be posting updates as her time and mental energy permit. I shouldn’t expect any resumption of blogging on my part until the weekend at the earliest, and possibly not until next week.

People often ask what they can do to help me. Good thoughts and prayers (depending on your orientation) are always welcome. Here’s several other possibilities:

Regular wit and erudition shall return.

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