Posted by: cg00n | March 24, 2012


My leg is once more held together rather tenuously with the aid of a whole bunch of sutures, Steri-strips, and a compression bandage.  Counting the three previous excisions which had active margins I now have nine new holes.  I have to raise my leg above stomach level whenever I drink to avoid getting the carpet wet.  Rather more Clonazepam than usual has found its way into my system since my last posting and I haven’t been feeling particularly chirpy.  However, I have managed to get through the last week or so with appetite more or less intact, a good night’s sleep most nights, and no complete meltdown into a gelatinous thumb-sucking blob feeling sorry for myself.  Life could be a whole lot worse.

Dr. M & co. did not make much fuss over me.  They left it up to me to decide whether I wanted to do all 9 at once or in stages so I decided I’d rather have it over with.  The surgery is not the part that bothers me, although on this occasion we just about maxed out the amount of local anaesthetic I’m allowed for my body mass.  What does alarm me is simply the number of these things showing up.  It will be two more weeks before we talk to Dr. G about the possibility of another limb perfusion and probably another two or three beyond that before anything happens.  Not that this is dicing with death.  All the lumps are very small, almost all are below the knee and there are no signs of trouble elsewhere.  The crazy thing is that, having searched diligently all over the inside of my skull, I cannot figure out precisely what is worrying me.  However, a few new insights and thoughts which may interest you (or not) have presented themselves.

Firstly, I think I have allowed myself to get comfortable with the status quo that seemed to exist up to November.  Everything seemed very manageable and almost ignorable.  Now I have to get used to a new situation.  Was I “in denial”?  Is it a bad thing if I was?  I don’t know, but I did have a pretty relaxed couple of years for which I am grateful.  There is an interesting mental twist to the present shakeup:  it has clearly illustrated the temporary nature of the cancer in the sense that it is not a single, monolithic illness.  This makes it easier to accept what is happening because it can be done in pieces.  This is no mere semantic subterfuge.  Looked at from this new point of view I can accept that I am sick and that I have to treat the illness, but I don’t have to accept that I’m going to die from it until much later.  Psychologically that looks like an easier sell.

Speaking of psychology, I have made strenuous efforts to control my state of mind using mindfulness meditation.  It does work … up to a point.  Several things have become apparent in the last few days:

  • My efforts to deal with specific issues (e.g. being comfortable with death) have met with limited success.  This stuff is really hard to do, for me anyway.
  • Partly as a result of this focused approach I am spending too much time caught up in the future and not enough being present right now.  This is absolutely fundamental and I’m going to have to put more effort into it.
  • It looks as though one of my ongoing problems is Generalized Anxiety Disorder, which does a wonderful job of muddying the waters.  As I said earlier, I don’t really know why I’m getting anxious; all sorts of insignificant things seem to set me off, most of them nothing to do with the cancer.

As a result of all this I think I am going to have to break down and take more Clonazepam.  This is not at all what I want but it appears to be the pragmatic solution, at least for now.

News Roundup


  1. … two roads diverged in a yellow wood and I took the one I was thrust upon, And that has made all the difference (Adapted from Robert Frost quite obviously). I see that this bumpy road called life has called upon you to fight your personal darth vader once again. I clicked the final link and I noted your moxy is still intact. May the force stay with you.

  2. We are an adaptable species… it stands to reason you would settle in to a ‘norm’ and that changes would affect that. I don’t think it’s denial at all – it may simply be the way we get through each day.

    I think if we did feel the full effect of the stresses that face us all the time, we couldn’t function. Constant vigil isn’t especially useful (and it’s for sure not good for us).

  3. p.s. I think I’m going to have to try out one of those captain’s chairs……

  4. Re “denial” and getting used to the status quo: these sound like perfectly normal human responses to sudden change.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: