Monday, September 21, 2009

Cured in 150 minutes!

For two and a half hours today, I had cancer. It was palpable; I felt it. I stood in that shower, suddenly jolted from whatever minor annoyance I'd been thinking about, dried off, and then sat down at my computer wondering, "What do I do now?"

My primary care physician reduced her client-load a couple years ago, so I was doctorless. I looked up urgent care, but their services didn't seem appropriate. I thought about calling nana but didn't want to worry her. I didn't have a clue what I should do next, and so I thought about my family history of cancer and got uncharacteristically emotional.

But I can also be cold and calculating. I imagine people dying; I picture really bad things happening. I observe them, detached, in my mind, and watch how events transpire. By the time I managed to get a referral and appointment for a mere 90 minutes later, I was already seeing myself leaving one of my jobs and my apartment. I had some perverse pleasure in imagining my world and priorities shifted.

Two and a half hours after I had diagnosed myself, my new doctor (friendly, grandfatherly; reminded me of my pediatrician) assured me there was no cancer. I'd have felt silly getting so worked up about it if not for my family history or my string of good health these past few years: I'd thought, "I'm due for this."

I may whine and complain and obsess over small things, but life is remarkably good; I'm remarkably lucky. If nothing else, today's experience reminded me of that.

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