Suspense Is Way More Fun When It's Fictional
My brother-in-law would make a fine protagonist for a spy thriller, though Zach's not actually a spy. Intrepid high-tech defense contractor, jazz drummer, and devoted family man protects America from secret Nazi clones and unreconstructed KGB sleeper agents! Tom Clancy, eat your heart out! Zach's fictional alter ego could experience all the emotional states his cancer is putting him through, only in the story he'd have an enemy he could shoot back at, a kind of enemy the human brain finds much easier to cope with, and a few hundred pages would get him safely to victory.
Instead, the suspense in this episode is about the scans Dr. Bigwig will be analyzing at the end of this week, and the treatment plans he and Zach will make based on all that new information. This suspense is no fun for anyone. The book Zach imagines writing, if he makes it through all this, is about meditation and biofeedback, at which he turns out to have a really impressive and previously unsuspected talent. Like, Buddhist-monk-level talent, and he's needed it. Real suspense about one's own survival, it turns out, is best handled in ways that don't make for Hollywood blockbusters.
The prayer request has gone out. If we were in a Hollywood blockbuster, the music would swell, and the Bat Signal would reflect luminously in the clouds, and we'd all be changing hurriedly into our superhero costumes, or whatever. I'm concentrating on the hope that the scans will be, above all, accurate and complete, and that the best possible decisions will get made and implemented brilliantly. If the news also happens to be good, and the tumors have been shrinking in response to the last round of chemo, so much the better.
If praying for people you don't know, or barely know, is a thing you do, please remember Zach.