Friday, July 18, 2014


The keenness of Life is renewed with every clean PET & MRI scan.

This past Tuesday I went to Penn Radiology for a PET scan. I was about 45 minutes early, due to the gods smiling upon the Schuylkill Expressway. Michelle, one of the techs, slipped me in early. She remembered me which made me feel good. That's how they roll at Penn.
I've taken a lighter approach to filling in medical forms.
When my tube time was over (about 30 minutes) & my nuclear pee peed, I had several hours before my appointment with Doc O'Malley. I wandered over to the Penn Museum to visit my favorite exhibit, the China Gallery. You should go. It's a mere $10 admission July & August. Be forewarned, only the Iraq section is air conditioned.  
I peered into the crystal ball and tried to see the results of my scan.

Tang ceramics tomb figures. Beautiful.
I started in the Iraq exhibits (getting my fill of AC) & spied a picture of a very familiar-looking object; a CT scanner of the likes of the one I was just in. The researchers used the scans to examine artifacts! Cancer is the least concern of those mummies.

Feeling a bit like an artifact myself.
About a week ago, I noticed that the left side of my neck, where all the excitement had occurred, had a new slight protrusion. It was enough to make me clean out a few drawers, I am telling you. I kept it to myself, and tried to prep once again, for my demise. I had seen Phil graduate which was my #1 Goal and figured well, at least I'd be able to see him off to Northeastern University. ... I kill myself off on a regular basis.

In Doc O'Malley's exam room later that day, I pointed to my neck and joked that I was on Step Three of the Five Steps of Grief. Quicker than a hungry vampire, Doc's hands were on my neck. He looked, poked & prodded and said it wasn't a tumor. He explained that radiation effects pop up for years and years and that's what he thought was happening with my neck. Well for cryin' out loud, life is interesting, ain't it?

2012 Donut Karma. Started it Day 1. 
Alas, although the actual scans popped up on Dr. O'Malley's computer screen, the techs had not yet completed their report. (Yes, of course I took this as an ominous sign. When will I learn?) As he scrolled through them, he said he thought they looked great but reminded me he wasn't able to read them like the techs would. I was to call his office Thursday for the results, giving me plenty of time to flick through various scenarios :)

Thursday dawned and the results of my scans were pronounced "awesome". It's Donut Karma. I bring a tray in for every appointment & almost got jumped for them in a crowded elevator up to my appointment.

That evening, Phil & I attended the memorial service for a woman tragically killed in a car accident. She left a husband and a son Phil's age. Heartbreaking.

It was far too easy for me to imagine Craig & Phil in the place of the grieving husband and son.

After the build-up and release of the anxiety of scan time, I always vow to be a kinder person, more patient and less OCD. So what if the kitchen floor probably should have been cleaned yesterday? Just let it go that I picked the wrong grocery line to check out in. What does it matter if that idiot driving in front of me is a bonafide "Left Lane Dick". Ok, well, that last one still matters.

So, my wish for you? Make hay while the sun shines, look for beauty and try to live each day realizing it's a Gift. Don't forget to thank The Lord :)
As I write this post, a farmer is actually making hay while the sun shines in our field.

Beauty right outside the doorstep.

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