Summer 2004. Ill-defined. We moved to a house on Memorial Day weekend, welcoming more space, a yard, sanity, and escape from a dungeon-like condo that shed light rather than received it and thrummed with the pounding of those living above us, who we dubbed the “Cement Feet People.” The next weekend, a day before our daughter was christened, I had an ultrasound. “We found ill-defined masses,” they said. Ill-defined. What does that mean?

The “C” word became a common currency, our household economy. We were concerned. Friends referenced Lance Armstrong, and we watched him begin his Tour, anticipating strength and victory. Surgery was recommended, relatively minor in scope. Some snips, some stitches. Rest for a few days. Wait to hear. We talked about it and we didn’t. Too many contingencies lay on the other side of that report. It made little sense to fret about what we didn’t know. Rational, but I’m not sure it prevented us from actual worry.

And then we heard good news. Vasculitis, they said, not cancer. Your blood vessels up-and-died. Your symptoms, they said, are “ill-defined.” Again, that phrase. A whole new series of concerns and doctors, all culminating in a watch and prevent attitude. You look healthy, they say. You feel healthy. If anything changes, they say, let us know. We’ll keep tabs and look carefully. Otherwise, they advised, be glad, feel fortunate.

It’s been an ill-defined summer. Overly busy, leaving little time to read, write, and think. We are both anxious to return to our dissertations, to our intellectual pursuits. We want time to go to the zoo, to introduce Evie to the panda bears (at a safe distance, of course). The family blog has gone far too long without new pictures. And our daughter is growing and advancing faster than we can keep track.

So, I’m looking forward to a well-defined fall. An unpacked and settled house, with pictures hanging on the walls. Introducing my daughter to the changing leaves. Writing, again. Playing and reading. Spending time with my wife. Letting work settle into a routine and leaving it at the office. Getting my damn dissertation done. Enjoying time with friends. Spending less time in a doctor’s office.

Being glad. Feeling fortunate.


5 Responses to Ill-Defined

  1. vika says:

    Oh, Jason. That’s an eventful summer, and not always in a good way. Glad to hear you’re fine for now, though. It’s been a long summer for many. Fall is coming, and we’ll all get a chance to cool off and settle in.

  2. KF says:

    Ay. What an anxious summer it must have been. I’m a big fan of terms like “ill-defined”; they’re usually doctor-speak for “honestly, we don’t know, and we’re going to frame our ignorance in the way that will most alarm you.” I’m glad to hear you’re doing well, and looking forward to a good fall.

  3. Jason says:

    Thanks Vika, Kathleen. I’m looking forward to cool fall evenings reading in front of the new fireplace.

  4. chuck says:

    Glad to hear that you’re doing well, Jason. Enjoy the fireplace readings.

  5. Jason says:

    Thanks Chuck 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.