[cancer] My inner rebel speaks

Flying to Philadelphia tomorrow (including the open dinner tomorrow night at the Philadelphia Marriott). Meetings on Thursday in Pennsylvania, then Friday I fly to San Francisco to spend a few days with .

One thing I’ve become very concerned about is catching cold or flu. A respiratory infection right now would be an utter disaster. I’ve had my seasonal flu vaccine, but as recently as couple of days ago the H1N1 vaccine wasn’t yet available here in the Portland area. Pretty soon I’ll be so close to the surgery that even if I do manage to get it, an adverse reaction will affect the surgery.

So tonight I went out and bought some hand sanitizer to carry with me, and some face masks. I’m cool with the hand sanitizer, but find myself oddly reluctant to wear a face mask on the plane. This is rather out of character for me, given my usual indifference to the opinions of random strangers. I’m not even sure what it means, except maybe that feels like another surrender.

And that is one of the hardest things here. My sense of narrowing is in effect a surrender to cancer and the demands of both the disease and its treatment. I’m about to give up a couple of weeks of my life to surgery and recovery; then half a year or more to chemotherapy. I’ve given up my usual clothing in favor of roaming around bundled up like a rag doll. I’m giving up at least some of my writing for a while. The space this takes in my head is growing, and it’s pushing almost everything else out.

For some reason, my inner rebel is drawing the line at the stupid face masks. Yet if I do pick something up on the plane, it could be dreadful for me.

I hate this. Hate hate hate.

6 thoughts on “[cancer] My inner rebel speaks

  1. Greg says:

    Jay — really if you think it may help… OK so I would have trouble sucking it up myself but … do what you must but no ones opinion is worth your life….

  2. joe says:

    Wear the mask. Paint a smiley face on it, or Tall Teeth, or board the plane in complete surgical booties, cap and scrubs and tell them you’re REALLY running late. But take the precaution.

  3. joe says:

    And I’m keeping you in my thoughts and prayers, Jay.

  4. phillyreds (twitter) says:

    You are drawing up your battle plans, the strategy includes doing many things you may not find comfortable, surrendering to a respiratory infection isn’t one of them.

    The mask is on one hand externalising your need to take precautions, on the other hand is externalising that you dont give a damn what others think.

    If ever there was a time not to be taking on a Russian Front under equipped this is it!

    Have a great time!

  5. A lot of military metaphor here. Extended, what you are doing is participating in a strategy where “surrender” of small, mini battlefronts, will ultimately play into your hands. Ergo, you aren’t in fact giving up anything.

    Fuck cancer (to quote a strategist)

  6. I think it may be because the mask separates you from other people. And it’s an outward sign that “something is wrong.”

    See, if you were in Japan, people probably wouldn’t even look twice at your wearing a mask.

    You could also try drawing cartoon dialog balloons on them, include some pithy statement on it or a not so famous quote.

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