The Colour Out of Space

I read H.P. Lovecraft’s short story “The Colour Out of Space” many years ago. It gave me nightmares for two weeks. I acknowledged that he is a master of horror stories and read no more.

A year ago I as diagnosed with advanced, aggressive cancer in my left kidney. It was removed and I underwent two months of aggressive chemotherapy. Tests in the summer found no cancer, “from eyes to thighs”.

Three weeks ago, a routine followup found a polyp in my bladder. Two weeks ago, it was surgically removed. My wife asked the surgeon if it was benign or cancerous. He replied, “Wrong question. Is it low, medium, or high grade?” Apparently, benign was an unlikely possibility. Because of the Christmas holidays, the pathology report is taking longer than the normal week or two. It is almost certainly the same kind of cancer, transitional cell carcinoma. Given how fast it showed up, probably high grade (i.e., fast growing).

I feel like the unnamed family in “The Colour Out of Space”. In the night, unseen, the color out of space descended into their well and poisoned them and their land. Nothing prospered.

The major risk factors are smoking, working in the chemical industry, and being male. The only risk factor I can find for me is being male. But something unseen continues to poison me.

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One Response to The Colour Out of Space

  1. Jeff says:

    This was written two days after Christmas 2015. The pathology report did indicate it was high grade, probably non-invasive. A subsequent operation scraped some more tissue from the same site. That pathology report came back clean, so yes, non-invasive. I asked both the urologist who found both cancers and did the surgery, and the medical oncologist who did the chemotherapy about possible causes. Both said cause unknown. The urologist added that in five years of practice, he has seen this cancer in only two non-smokers. It’s frustrating.

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