[cancer|personal] The poison that is hope

Last night, Lisa Costello, [info]mikigarrison and I were discussing yesterday’s consultation at some length.

This is good news. Good news in a fantastic number of ways. It means I’ll make it to Worldcon. It means I might even have a chance to go to a few more events later on, if my current state of health holds. (Now I’m dreaming of going to the UK for WFC.) It means my friends and loved ones who come to visit me will find me able to be myself for them. Not a gasping patient recumbent in a powered chair. It means I can see [info]the_child into and possibly through another year.

My lease on life has been extended, by at least a few months. In my current state, a few months is tantamount to eternity.

But hope…

Hope is a poison that kills sweetly and slowly. Hope has me believing things that are hurtfully untrue. Hope creates expectations that will be shattered. If cancer has taught me anything this past half-decade, it is to never trust in hope.

So instead I plan, and make contingencies in case those plans go awry. And I limit myself, because even with this good news, I live in a body that exhausts too easily and doesn’t always cooperate with even the minima of day-to-day existence. And I am careful to tend that shell I have built, like a caddis fly, out of fragments of pain and discomfort and anger and fear.

Because if I hope too much, I hurt too much. The cancer always raises the stakes. Just because I won this hand doesn’t put me up for the game. Not at all. I cannot let myself be tricked into thinking that might be the case. Not even for a moment.

Best to live for this day, and the reasonable anticipation of a few extra days between now and the end.

11 thoughts on “[cancer|personal] The poison that is hope

  1. Stevie says:

    It is so wonderful for you to have some good news for a change; long may you continue to be the quintessential outlier…

  2. Pat Cadigan says:

    I am thinking good thoughts for you. You’re very much on my mind. See you at worldcon.

  3. Ben Fenwick says:

    Luckily, your modestly good news doesn’t have to depend on hope. Very rational. Glad it’s working for now.

  4. Ilsa says:

    All in all, this is excellent, Jay. Allow yourself to enjoy this, too.

  5. Laurie Mann says:

    I agree with Ilsa in particular. Enjoy the time you have, and it sounds like you’ll have more than you expected. We understand it isn’t a cure, it’s an extension, but any extension of good days is, well, good.

  6. homa_bird says:

    YAAAAAYYYYYYY!!!!!!!! Happy dance hands!

  7. Kate says:

    Hope is four letter word.

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