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Time - Portrait of a Young Man as The Artist — LiveJournal
Things went better today. I spent a few hours on the floor watching users work. The people here are pretty savvy with my (previous) application. It's nice not needing to direct them to the basics - this should have been expected. I've noticed a few things that could be helped, that I'll send off to the TS guy tomorrow. For now, I don't want to think about tomorrow.

In this Cancer clinic I'm confronted by death. There are people surrounding me, many of which will die in the next few months. It's eerie and makes me think about age, death and dying. Most of the people I see are well over sixty, but occasionaly there will be a younger person, probably in their 40s. I can't imagine dealing with cancer, let alone the intense treatment process adn constant worry.

I realized that I'm still not comfortable with getting older. I don't want to become enfeebled, unable to care for myself. I'd hate to be a burden, not because I wouldn't want to ipose on loved ones. No, I don't want to be enfeebled because I don't want loved ones to see me so weak. I do not want to be weak.

I pride myself on being able to work through difficulties, to persevere. As it is I rarely ask for help, especially when I see it as a personal failing. Sure, if I have something that I can't get done (NOT something I can't do, there's a difference) for a deadline I'll ask for some help t get it done. I find that if there's something that I can't do, can't figure out, I work so damn hard to figure it out so that I can do it. In these sorts of cases I refuse to get someone else to do it.

With getting old I worry that this situation would change. You can't "figure out" cancer. Treatment either works or doesn't depending on a combination of body chemistry, drugs and internal belief. You get weak, a weak that you simply can't overcome. That's what I fear with age.

I feel sad for the people that look so sick. I feel so hopeful for the people that can wall themselves out of the clinic.
I'm re-reading Portrait of the artist as a young man. Damn, I love James Joyce and his particular brand of stream-of-conscious writing. Borders has the unabridged audio version of Ulysses; it's 40cds. I wants it.

Either way, I feel better reading something classic. I admire that he wrote it when he was 26. Kinda lights a fire under my ass to get my poetry together. I want to be able to pull my own books off a shelf. But that won't likely be for a while.
Oy. I'm going to stop thinking adn enjoy the obscene desert that has arrived. It's in a goblet.

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From: canetonlaid Date: July 27th, 2005 03:12 am (UTC) (Link)
I pride myself on reading and enjoying classic literature, but I just can't seem to get into Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man or Joyce in general. I feel like I've failed. I mean, I like Henry James, anything else should be a picnic... What am I missing?

Dessert should always come in goblets.
abmann From: abmann Date: July 27th, 2005 02:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
I agree, dessert should be in goblets.

Regarding Joyce, he's really one of the few s-o-c writers I enjoy reading. It may be that I have kinship with him because we're both Irish. :) Portrait is just odd enough for me to like it. I, however, enjoy school/learning settings in books and movies quite a bit. I enjoy observing the learning process.

As for James, you must have some horrible defect hitherto unknown to medical science. :p
assfingers From: assfingers Date: July 27th, 2005 04:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
My sister works with clinical trial patients in OB/GYN oncology. Much as you're staring death in the face.. she does every day. And interacts with those that will probably die. Some die while still in the studies. I could never handle that.

Also, on the cheery topic of mortality, I (like every sane person, including yourself) don't have a real rosy outlook regarding my own eventual aging/passing. There's no cancer-specific fear, as my family has managed to dodge that bullet almost completely (going back several generations) but there is an early mortality scare for me involving heart attacks. They're very prevalent - my grandfather and his 4 brothers AVERAGE 2 heart attacks per person and each was, otherwise, pretty healthy.

Given that I assume that my life will be short, I live it like I do. I mock healthy foods and exercise. Fun is the name of the game! Taste counts, and nothing else does.

Of course, with that attitude, I'll probably live to 108 and be completely annoyed with the last 60 years of my life.
abmann From: abmann Date: July 27th, 2005 04:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's the jerks that live the longest. :)

I actually worry more about alzheimers than cancer. My grandmother died of alzheimer's and its complications. As for strokes, most of my grandfathers and my father have had strokes. However, I believe tis to be their general eating habits - especially my Dad. He eats terribly adn is very, very overweight. I, on the other hand, excercise and eat relatively well. So I just need to keep my brain engaged for my life.

And avoid prions. Stupid prions.
assfingers From: assfingers Date: July 27th, 2005 04:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Alzheimer's is fucking scary. After 3 heart attacks, that's what got my grandfather. It's the nastiest disease I've ever encountered.
questingfalcon From: questingfalcon Date: July 27th, 2005 05:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
My paternal grandmother died from Alzhimers while I was in Beloit. You ran a game that night. For the year before that, while I was with her, she was suffering from severe delsuions / hallucinations. My maternal grandfather had cancer that was successfully operated on. However, he's still living with the after effects of it. He's had to go for futher sugery twice, and I've stayed with him in the hospital both times. Four of my uncles and aunts have passed away in the last year.

Old age and death are not pleasent things, nor are they particularly easy to deal with. I guess everyone need to come to terms with them somehow, in a way that helps them deal with it.
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