part two of “who needs disneyland when you can have diagnostic cancer tests!”
wow…that was a hell of a cliff hanger…sorry about the delay….
and so..the day of my pet scan came and i went in good spirits and calm focus. before i went in, i walked the little healing labyrinth on the grounds of our fine local medical institution.
it was early in the morning in september and i was the only one around at the time. slowly, intentionally walking the circular path, folding ever inwards on itself. i was doing my yogic breathing but, before long had to stop as the company that gathered was ruining my good healing vibe i had going on. three doctors, in their fashionable green scrubs, full access laminates around their necks, clutching giant cups of starbucks coffee, one had a 62 oz. big gulp and ALL of them smoking. yes. smoking. health care professionals. at a hospital….what is wrong with this picture?
i was stunned by the stinging irony of it all, and yet secretly loved how twisted it was. this is our HEALTH care institution. riiiight…..
so i make my way to the gigantic trash can pod which is where they perform such tests. perhaps because they are too dangerous to actually do in a facility next to other people..i do not know. i DO know, however, that after one has a pet scan you are not to be near children or pregnant women for 6 hours, because of the radioactivity level in your body. really.
the people in the pod are very nice and get me comfortable in my sci-fi chair where i will spend the next 90 minutes, marinating in my isotopes before the actual scan.
they inject you with your cocktail, dim the lights, cover you in a blanket and leave you in solitary to cook for a while.
i stayed with my yoga breathing and after a while i would have moments of cold moving thru me and a thickness in my veins as i felt the stuff make its way thru my system. i kept imagining those star machine lights: million of tiny green pin points of lights moving lazily across my interior landscape, looking for cancer cells to hook up with in the starlight.
when my time was up, they walk you to the bathroom and then you are ready to lay on the slab while they run the test.
you lay on your back on a very narrow plank, arms at your sides, absolutely still. do not move. cancer is all about being present and still and focused. you spend the next hour or so in this state as they scan various sections of your body. laying there with your eyes closed you try to imagine how much of you is lighting up…
finally i was done, and although i felt a bit odd, it was nothing as traumatic as my mri.
results came back: all clear, except my rogue breast. i was ready for surgery and was grateful to know i was not harboring any other squatters in my body. as far as we know.
with cancer, it is always, “as far as we know.”
but then isn’t that just like life? all we really know is what is right now in front of us. every moment full of potential. everything else is just projecting and speculation. we have no idea what the future holds and that is not an excuse to be reckless, or uncommitted or disconnected or uncaring or fatalistic. it is an opportunity to drink deeply, with our full attention of all that is true and beautiful and meaningful. because this is our life. and it is now. and that, is as far as we know.