Posts Tagged ‘PET/CT scan’

Sometime in the month of May ’09 the PET/CT scan happened and the details of the event were reposited as deeply in my brain as the PET/CT laboratory was entombed in the hospital complex. I don’t remember much. Except I do recall traveling down down down into some sub basement of a different building a block north of the oncology pavilion of Columbia Pres; and that there was a complete colony of administration cubicles and exam rooms and dressing rooms, a waiting area, and so forth, there, and that everything was yellow lit. Then there was another long hall, and thick doors marked with radioactive warning signs that clunked shut behind me, and there was an Igor-like technician, and an enormous torpedo tube large enough for the Avatar, and it was all so Sci-Fi horrorific.

Although, the test was not at all physically painful, and, in fact, would’ve been relaxing had I not fantasized the possibility that the oxygen could be cut off in the tube while Igor twiddled his thumbs rather than respond to my suffocation. Otherwise, it was easy and over fairly quickly, and I guess the PET/CT happening was somewhat uneventful since I didn’t write a word about it in my trusty journal. I did, however, write about my anxiety while waiting for the results:

May 23, 2009  – Today or maybe only for this moment, I’m scared. I had a dream about receiving the results from the PET/CT scan in which Reade (my husband) answered the phone to receive the news from an Asian woman. His eyes seemed to look through me as he shook his head “yes” which I interpreted as positive for something unwanted and, so, was in such a tailspin that when dream Reade handed me the phone to talk to the dream doctor, I woke up in a sweat.

Perhaps if I had stayed asleep for another minute I would’ve discovered that everything was clear and that the message was positively positive. I ought to have faced my fears; ya know, face everything and recover.  Because I woke up, I remained in a panic and couldn’t go back to sleep. To calm myself I tried to visualize a clean, clear, white-lighted body. I imagined being in the PET/CT tube again but this time white light scanned my body and permeated every cell with immune boosting energy. Then I visualized a spectrum of light rays cleaning each chakra – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. But, the colors didn’t seem bright enough in my mind’s eye and I fretted that I was inept at visualization and so I chanted affirmations in my head: “My body is 100% healthy, whole, well, safe, and complete”. And yet, I’m not so sure about the effectiveness of affirmations and the healing-your-life-through-thought approach anymore, and I’ll tell you why – the letter that my father wrote a year before he died was filled with positive thoughts, gratitude, and a strong will to live and succeed.

I don’t know.

Maybe there are some things, lots of things, that are beyond my control. Maybe at all times I need ask my Creator for the serenity to accept the things I can not change. I am clear that I want to live though.

In my father’s letter to Clinton V. Johnson, his employer for the last two years of his life, he wrote that work gave his life meaning. I would’ve said the same before my cancer diagnosis, but work is not at the top of my Wish List anymore. I want to live to see my daughter grow up. I want to witness her successes and see her get married and meet my grandchildren, and I want to be there to hug her through all her joys and fears. I’d also like to travel and write another book or two; but, those desires are secondary to being with my loved ones which is something that disturbs me about the letter that my father wrote. In fact, I’ve been downright exorcised over that letter which, incidentally, was recently discovered by C.V. Johnson’s daughter and given to my mother who gave it to me for my birthday, and, so, in the spirit of “there are no accidents“, that letter and the resulting exorcism apparently were meant to be. 

Well… upon a second reading…

I do understand that the letter was written to his employer, so perhaps my father had targeted his audience with his emphasis on work. Perhaps in his private journals I would find that he battled cancer in order to watch his daughters grow up.  I choose to believe that his soul/sole motivation like mine was to care for his babies. I also choose to believe that he has been caring for me from the other side ever since as I would hover over my daughter; and that this letter is evidence that he’s particularly with me now.

I am playing tennis in a Rally for the Cure today. May God/Goddess please grant me extra Faith, Courage, Serenity and whatever it takes to keep my eye on the ball and the Cause to help all women so that we will not need to fear our breasts. Please let there be Health on Earth so that all the high drama surrounding the painful systems of breast cancer detection and eradication will not be necessary.

I have a dream that one day mammograms, MRIs, PET/CT scans, lumpectomies, mastectomies, reconstructive surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and hormone therapy will all be stories in history books.

And that there will come a time when we simply drink fresh juice, paint, dance, laugh & sing our way to health; and all aberrations will be cured by the love in each other’s hands. Faithfully Yours,



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