Part 1: A Random Antidote
Part 2: No Pageant Queen Here, Honey
Part 3: What to Give the Man Who Has Everything
Lay Me Down Tomorrow follows three people, in a contemporary setting, each facing a terminal disease. At first they submit to their fate, resigned and desolate. An intruder in their lives inspires them to do more than watch the clock tick down. The results are darkly comic, indecent, and ultimately life saving.
If you have a bleak cancer diagnosis, you typically have two choices: experiment with new drugs which have a low chance of success and horrendous side effects; or an opioid-based path of surrender and dulled senses. The characters in the story do something else. Without taking the analogy too far, the adventures experienced by the characters are evocative of what people in broader society today can have, in-between the deadening day-to-day existence for many and the chaotic and self-destructive attempts by others to avoid that kind of existence.
Along the way, the story touches briefly on themes which are known to many patients dealing with their doctors: the frustration when talking to busy physicians; the jargon gap –for example, doctors will say “the patient failed the drug regimen”, instead of a more normal “the drug failed the patient”; and the gap between treatment intended for the “average” patient and the unique needs of any one actual patient.
(By the way, The First Cell, written by noted cancer doctor Azra Raza, does a marvelous job of emphasizing the human side of aggressive cancer treatment.)
The three parts to the story are shown in separate posts.