The biggest writing problem that I have, other than the ones you regular readers generally know about, is writing a current column on the weekend immediately preceding the next Wednesday’s publication date, when I am still waiting on results from my most recent CT Scan. This isn’t like putting the cart before the horse, this is more like putting the horse in the cart and pulling it. Aside from not knowing definitively about this most recent look into my lungs, and thus not wanting to discuss it – premature annunciation you might call it – assimilating the ever-present anxiety and worry about any and all things cancer-related never gets easy. Moreover, the not-knowing corrupts my brain and stifles my creative juices. How can I think about anything other than what information I don’t have? And considering the circumstances and the context: my life being at stake; anything, everything, all the things, pale in comparison and nothing feels worth writing about – so that’s what I’m writing about.
Let me attempt to clarify a bit. This feeling isn’t about waiting for results per se. It’s not about the interval of time between my scan and my next face-to-face meeting with my oncologist when Team Lourie will be updated; it’s not about wondering if any symptoms I’ve had (I haven’t had any) are indicative of potential trouble; it’s not about my insurance coverage or money running out and in turn there being some gap in my coverage; nor is this, generally speaking, about business or pleasure. No, this is about living my day-to-day life when the elephant is not only in the room, it’s on your shoulders, in your head, and everywhere else it can possibly be.
Not that I’m totally blocked and unable to function; hardly. I am still in control of most of my bodily functions and almost all of my activities of daily living, and when I get dressed, I am still able to put my pants on one leg at a time like everybody else with very little difficulty. In short, my life appears to be relatively normal. No one could tell by looking at me that I’m living on the edge, maybe the cusp, hopefully not precipice, of potentially life-changing information. The reality of this upcoming Friday’s appointment/reality so dominates my brain that it’s practically impossible for me to mind anything but my own business, and what seems to suffer most is creative pursuits, and unfortunately that is reflected in this week’s column: a meandering (though not necessarily intended to be) testament to cancer’s insidious effect, emotionally. Cancer may occasionally work in mysterious ways, but in one way its effect is perfectly clear: your thinking is not what it used to be, pre-cancer.
Nevertheless, I can manage. It’s no problem, really. After five and one half years, I know what to expect. It’s just time that thankfully I still have. I’ll know soon enough though. It’s already Monday. Besides, good things come to those who wait, right?