Joy lies in the fight, in the attempt, in the suffering involved, not in the victory itself

(Ghandi)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

heaven in my hurricane

This is a photograph of my brain. No cabbages, no obvious lesions, but as I have just the scans and no report, we'll have to wait and see. I have an appointment with Dr A on Monday, and the radiology clinic have faxed the report to him. During the MRI there were no audible screams of horror, or ironic chuckling, but due to my muffler-headphones and the extreme noise of the blasted machine I would probably not have heard them anyway. Nobody told me that the MRI machine would sound like putting your head in a washer/dryer. If I hadn't had a headache for the previous 3 months I would definitely have come out with one lol. It was also the most claustrophobic, anxiety-inducing experience I've had in some time... I think it's similar to my opinion of childbirth -- no-one tells you quite how horrifying it is because then no-one would ever go through it!

One of the reasons I found it so difficult was the choice of location. Seven years ago Mr Ex and I endured 6 months of stressful, painful, embarrassing, intrusive and ultimately unsuccessful fertility treatment in that very same hospital. Before yesterday's scan I had coffee in the same coffee shop where Mr Ex and I sometimes sat after various tests, phrases like "hostile mucus" and "deceased sperm" running through our heads. After my scan I used the same bathroom I sat and cried in after one or another sad meeting in which our treatment nurse Janet, or an offsider, shared the inevitable bad news of another failure. It brought back so many memories I thought I'd forgotten, or driven away with my determination to be sexily un-child-ed. But the soul doesn't forget, and the cellular memory pushed me hard in the back towards the edge yesterday...

Glad it's over. I'm not surprised my brain showed a lack of obviously-fatal tumour-shaped objects. I should be so lucky. I told my friend Michelle that I was possibly one of the few patients they had in the clinic who would have been disappointed to be NOT dying. Having a terminal illness would just put an end to all this irritating and exhausting business of living and trying and working on being well. I know, I know, I know. It's not funny. We've all lost people we love, good and special people, to tumours, cancers, lesions...But I'd be lying if I denied that a sick and twisted part of me has always hoped that there would be a denouement to my life that would render me worthwhile and purposeful.

Sadly, unless the report tells me something I couldn't find by comparing my MRI scans to Google Images of "brain lesions", it seems I must continue to find purpose in living rather than dignity in dying.

I spent some time with my oldest friend Samantha today, and her baby daughter Sierra (whom I call my niece). Here she is in all her cuddlesome glory:

Even jaded old me had to admit that life seemed to have more oomph to it when she was nearby, even though I'm sadly not the slightest bit clucky or maternal. I really have made peace with being child-free (I refuse to say child-less as if I am less of a person, less of a woman because my body won't work in certain ways). I'm thrilled and blessed to consider Sam's three kids as my nephews and niece, and perhaps one day my perennial bachelor brother will settle down and make me a genuine blood aunty! Sometimes I wonder if being a mother would have made a difference, would have somehow filled part of the gaping hole in my heart. Being back in that hospital this week certainly made me wonder at the paths we take in life, and those that we're forced down through circumstance. In the end, though, I guess where we end up is where we're supposed to be. How would Jon Kabat-Zinn describe it - "Wherever you go, there you are?" Yep, ain't that the kicker.

(NB: Today's title from P!nk "The One That Got Away")

6 comments:

Hannah said...

I'm glad you got through the MRI, but I'm sorry it brought up so many painful memories for you, it must have been so dificult going back to that hospital.

still, it must be fascinating to look at those pictures of your brain - I hope the report comes out well.

Hann xx

tricia said...

Wow, so much in one post. I'm sorry you have such painful memories to revisit. "The soul doesn't forget." No truer statement was ever written.

Once again, I've just deleted a long rambling comment that made little to no sense. I hope the doctor doesn't keep you in suspense for long.

Your little Samantha is adorable.

I'll be thinking of you. I wish the best for you always Lil.

Just Be Real said...

Dear Lil, sorry for the painful memories and having to endure the scan. I understand those machines can be very intimidating. What a cutie of sweet girl, Sam. Thank you for sharing her. Blessings to you dear one as you continue on your journey. Love your brain shot also.

Elizabeth A. said...

I hate when those memories I think I've really gotten past and really at peace rear their ugly heads and make me want to hide in a dark corner for a few days.

I'm fairly certain I've made the choice to be child free as much as I love kids and so motherly and so good with children, I just don't think it's fair to the imaginary child. It's a like a living bad memory on my back as much I say outloud and internally I don't want that child, I know I used to really, really want to. Child free though, not a damn thing wrong with it.

Polar Bear said...

hi Lil
Yeah, I totally get what you mean by your disappointment at having not uncovered a tumour or anything like that. I know it's sick, but I do have a secret wish to just go that way....

John said...

Alright girl...

For what it's worth I'm pleased you don't have a tumour. Although I do get what you mean. You should spend more time with your neice's and nephews. I'm Godfather to my mate's 2 kids, and it's good for the soul being around them. That genuine happiness and innocence. I try not to let myself think "yea.. well, they just don't know that life is shit yet"... and just enjoy the fact that when I walk in they shout "UNCLE JOHN!!" and run towards me.

Although... I'll be honest, I'm pleased that I can leave him and his wife to it when it comes to dirty nappies and crying...

Take it easy...

John x