1:07 PM - Fri 7.02.21
(I say this all the time, but it never stops fascinating me: I'm compelled to journal, yet also compelled to procrastinate whenever there's actually something to journal about - like today. Anyway...)
Gotta be honest going in - This doesn't feel like "The Best Of All Possible Times".
To say the least.
"Going to the doctor" is becoming a new, unwanted hobby, my cat Hamlet is inexplicably losing weight (And spontaneously sharting on my bed)
...and Jane has cancer.
I clearly 'buried the lede" here, so I'll give you what I've got on the big story.
About six months ago, Jane noticed her tongue didn't look or feel quite right (And if I'm remembering correctly, the pain started getting progressively worse).
She went to her doctor, and a biopsy revealed some questionable goings-on.
After surgery (and a fairly unpleasant recovery period), we were hoping that was the end of that.
But then the pain came back.
So there was another biopsy recently...and, long story short, the cancer is back.
The "good news", relatively speaking, is that it's small and localized, while the bad news - at least in my estimation - is just that it exists, a mere six months after surgery.
I have no experience and little knowledge here, but I guess cancer can be a tricky thing - Apparently, the tumor/whatever-the-fuck looked small and had clear demarcations, so they thought they'd "gotten it" (And there didn't seem any need for any other treatment)...but clearly some "rogue cells" were hiding out somewhere.
And I guess "a couple rogue cells" is all it takes.
So another surgery is happening this Thursday (With a Lymph node removal surgery in her future).
Right now, it doesn't look like radiation will be a thing (they don't do chemo with cancers where hers is - too close to the brain, perhaps? - which was probably the thing Jane was dreading most at one point...until she found out radiation might be even more unpleasant than her last experience with chemo), so "probably no radiation" is something to be glad about.
But on the less-happy side, they're gonna be taking more tongue than they did before.
And "taking more tongue than they did before" seems likely to mean a more unpleasant,
And while they won't be removing enough of her tongue that it won't grow back - I just yesterday learned that's a thing - they will be removing enough of her tongue that eating and speaking clearly will probably be a "thing" for at least some period of time.
For the two-of-us, that seems like the big concern - As we discussed earlier today, "death" doesn't seem to be on the table (again, as things stand, the cancer seems small and localized), but she's not too keen on living in a world where she can't make herself understood (Or, I imagine, where people are uncomfortable/feeling sorry for her when she opens her mouth).
And while the film takes a back seat to her just getting through this and getting better, she clearly has concerns about finishing things up (But the film will get done. There's stuff she has to weigh in on still, but after that, Kimberly - her Co-Producer - and the sound guys and the color correction people can finish it on their own).
The other film-related concern, beyond it just getting done, is her being able to communicate during "film-festival season" - beyond it being a good thing for the film, I personally feel like it would monumentally suck if, after working her ass off on this project for years, cancer takes away her ability to take a well-deserved "victory lap" during film festival season.
(I don't think that's going to happen - She's already told me that she'd hate it if she went through film festivals struggling to speak but would definitely do it - but I just hate the idea of more struggle when she should just be able to relax and enjoy her success at some point...because, whatever ultimately comes of the film, I do expect she's going to pick up a pile of awards at film festivals.)
She's strong, and the thing I admire about most about her is when it occurs to her to do a thing, she just does it - Whether it's "make a documentary", "start living part-time in LA", or "get through Cancer".
So she'll do what she needs to do to get through this and make sure what she wants to have happen, happens.
I just wish this weren't happening to her.
I don't like it.
I feel a bit "at sea" about the whole situation - wanting to "do something" but knowing there really isn't much to do, other than offer what support I can.
But I'm confident she'll get through this...and that we'll get through this (I'd be lying if I said I wasn't concerned about her future ability to speak because that's the lifeblood of our relationship - lots and lots of talking. But at this point, I feel like I know "us", which is why I can, with some confidence, say, "We'll work it out...whatever 'it' turns out to be").
Well, after that news, I'm kind of embarrassed to make my own little personal problems sound like "problems" at all - though trust me, that won't last for long - so this seems like a good time to wrap up.
Till next time...