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")