Wednesday, August 18, 2010

D Day Minus 180 (September 10, 2009): Oz (Part 4): If I Only Had a Brain

I had brain on the mind while I sat in the waiting room, with all the other test subjects and their entourages. Waiting and waiting and waiting for you to finish your MRI. I wasn’t sure why you needed a brain MRI and what it would prove. Did they think the cancer jumped all the way from your abdomen to your brain – even on chemo? It didn’t make sense to me, but then again none of this made sense. I don’t think it was supposed to.

It was really cold in the waiting room. I seriously considered stealing a faded blue straggler hospital blanket (that reminded me of Navy issue bootcamp blankets) someone left on the empty recliner next to me. Then I remembered Aunt Janiene telling me about the Oprah Show with “recycled” airline blankets and other people’s cooties. Maybe the cooties were true. Or maybe Aunt Janiene was tricking me into making her flannel blankets to take to the movies. I reached for the blanket. And stopped. I decided not to take any chances – just in case.

I fired up my zebra skinned Netbook, which made my thighs really hot, but didn’t help my nose or fingers. I hated how cold they kept the waiting room. You’d think it would be a little warmer with all these sick people. I’ll only complain for a little bit more and then I’ll stop. I really do have Reynaud’s and I know caffeine doesn’t help. You don’t have to tell me that again. My son has cancer, I got you trumped. I knew that would shut your pie hole. Do you know how much I love you? To infinity and beyond.

The Hospital Wifi sucked again, as usual, so I broke out my wireless USB to check my email and see how much damage I could do on eBay or Amazon. You knew the drill if I found a good deal or something; don’t tell Dad; hide the boxes in the “spare” bedroom Dad never goes into; and follow standard operating procedures. If you get detained, just give him your name, rank, and serial number. Be a good soldier.

As soon as I got a connected and Messenger was up and running Aunt Chihuahua was at again, with the third degree. I played for a while. How many ways can you say I don’t know? Or we’ll know more tomorrow? Or I’m tired? And scared? I knew -- you knew--exactly what I meant. That’s why I made myself invisible online.

Then I got to wishing I had magical powers and could really make myself invisible and really small. Then I could watch them do the MRI. But then I got to thinking I’d need magical powers to understand what the heck the MRI meant. The only thing I knew for sure was that it was NOT a good thing to light up like a Christmas Tree – most of the time. But then you and I had a tendency to confuse what was normal with what wasn’t. All I am going to say is you and me, Starbucks in Roanoke, disks with latest scan, laptop, January, totally wrong. That sunk in until one of the “blue seersucker jacketed volunteers,” asked for “Family of the Millers,” or some last name that started with an “M.”

Once the “M” family went to some hidden world with the volunteer, I got back to thinking. Wouldn’t it be awesome to see what the radiologists couldn’t see like what you were thinking? How your mind and thoughts and beliefs actually affect the cancer? Is there really mind over matter? Or wouldn’t it be cool to see your memories and play them back with the same feeling you felt? Like when you were two and I was on  maternity bed rest before we really knew Morgan was really Morgan. What was it like for you to have me all to yourself without work or any distractions (except FASTOP, caffeine free Diet Coke and black licorice on our clandestine missions in my blue Mazda GLC at high noon)? Could you play it back like on hologram like R2D2 did with Princess Leia’s plea for help in the first Star Wars?

I couldn’t focus much on eBay or Amazon, no matter, how good the deals were. I was too wrapped up in memories, thoughts and quantum physics. And lots of questions, with no answers. If it all depends whether something in quantum physics is a particle or wave, what does IT depend on? Is it your thoughts? If you could catch a memory in your brain, would it be a particle? If you could wiggle the memory, could it vibrate like a wave? If it was a wave, how could I tune to the freqency? If I imagined your cancer gone, could I make it so? If I thought about it too much, would I make it bigger? If you focus on killing the cancer, are you giving it more ammunition? Are all these tests only making it bigger, because it is all we can think about? Why can they send a man to moon, but they can’t cure cancer? What really is the mind-body connection? Why is there more cancer, the more we fight it? Do people really have spontaneous remissions? Would if come back if you kept testing for it because you were focusing on it again?

I thought in circles for about an hour until Dad called me from work. It was nearly 6:00, and I’d been in the waiting room for three and half hours. Then I saw you walking toward me, lanky and tall like a scarecrow minus the straw. I know you have brain, Scarecrow, but I’m losing my mind.

1 comment:

  1. Qigong practice--mainly standing post meditation--helped me immensely in my successful battles with four bouts of supposedly terminal bone lymphoma cancer in the early nineties. I practiced it as an adjunct to chemotherapy, which is how it should always be used.
    Qigong kept me strong in many ways: it calmed my mind--taking me out of the fight-or-flight syndrome, which pumps adrenal hormones into the system that could interfere with healing. It energized my body at a time when I couldn't do Western exercise such as weight-lifting or jogging--the chemo was too fatiguing. And it empowered my will and reinforced it every day with regular practice. In other words, I contributed to the healing process, instead of just depending solely on the chemo and the doctors. Clear 14 years and still practicing!

    I learned qigong from Ramel Rones, disciple of Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming of Boston. It's very important to learn qigong from a highly-qualified teacher who has learned from a bona fide master with a lineage originating to China. Beware--many self-proclaimed "masters" teach untested qigong!

    Bob Ellal
    Author, 'By These Things Live: Chronicles of a Four-Time Cancer Survivor'