Anything else I'd planned to say today seems meaningless in the wake of SFF author Jay Lake's announcement on Wednesday that his cancer had returned--with a vengence. He's looking at his fourth round of surgery and third round of chemo for three tumors that appeared roughly six months after his last round of chemo ended. The odds are definitely not in Jay's favor.
I don't know Jay personally. We've passed a couple of e-mails in a fan-writer way, but DH and I have followed his journey online for nearly four years now because, well, it hits close to home.
DH is approaching the eighteenth anniversary of his diagnosis of colon cancer, the same thing Jay is fighting. In both cases, they fell far under the age profile for colon cancer, men way too young to be dealing with this type of shit.
When DH came into the kitchen Wednesday morning, I could tell by his face he'd already seen Jay's blog. He sat down across the table from me, and I said, "We're both having a bad case of survivor's guilt, aren't we?"
Surprise appeared on DH. "I know I am, but why are you?"
"Because I don't know what I would have done if I'd lost you. But I didn't. And Jay's family is pissed and scared and feeling helpless right now at the possibility they're going to lose him. And the whole thing isn't fucking fair."
You see, doctors caught Jay's cancer when it was still at Stage 1 through the typical symptom presentation of rectal bleeding. DH's first symptom was diarrhea that he and I both chalked up to having too much fun at a bar with a friend the night before. Two days later, after emergency exploratory surgery, the doctors found a six-inch Stage 3 tumor that had already started to spread.
Statiscally speaking, Jay's stituation was much better than DH's. But that's not how life works sometimes. Life isn't fair and it makes no sense. And I'm angry and crying as I type this.
As Jay said, if you feel the need to pray or cuss or or buy his books (I highly recommend Green) or donate to the American Cancer Society (wonderful people who helped DH and I when we needed it), do so.
But make sure you give your loved ones hugs and tell them what they mean to you.
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