Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Another Test before Oaxaca

What I want to know is who started that metaphor of fighting cancer? It's in my body, and I don't want to fight my body.

I want to take the cancer cells to tea and talk to them about the situation. Could you just sit there, in the ducts, not doing anything? I won't burn you and you won't go forth and multiply.

Megan said that, when she worked at Hospice, a patient told her he visualized a gnome in his body, stacking the cancer cells in his arms and carrying them out of his body.

She said maybe I could imagine a Swiffer sweeping the cells away. Yeah, I do love Swiffer. But have you ever noticed that those microfiber pads don't really clean? Try Swiffering the floor, changing the cloth, and then Swiffering again. The second cloth comes up dirty.

And breast tissue can't be dirty. That's what I've learned in the past whip-fast week and a half, when I had one foot out the door to go to Mexico and found myself at Kaiser for a routine appointment.

My aunt had said that I was supposed to get a mammogram when I turned 40. I had an extra hour between my appointment at Kaiser and when the prescriptions were going to be called in, so I wandered over to the mammogram dept. to make an appointment. I didn't think they'd get me in before August 4th, my date of Oaxaca departure, but I thought I'd try.

"Your lucky," the receptionist said. "We've just had a cancellation. Come back in 15 minutes and come on in."

I did and they did it and the next day they called me and since then I'm on a whirlwind tour of stage zero microcalcifications which cover my mammogram film like a starry sky. It could fool you into thinking it was beautiful.

Tomorrow is my surgery. But that's not what I want to write about. I want to thank that woman, wherever she is, who cancelled her appointment for her mammogram. You may have saved my life, and you have certainly saved me much trouble and sorrow. I'm sending you my gratitude and also my wish that you never have a starry sky inside you.

1 comment:

Clara said...

Oh Serena, what a weird world and a weird time. I lit a candle for Jen on her birthday, as I always do since ours were just days apart. But more important, I'm holding you now in my thoughts - for health, wholeness, beauty, and light. Please be well.