So Will This Be On The Final Exam?
Today's little adventure was an MRI of my brain.
Being strapped into the dark noisy pounding tube for 45 minutes was strange and creepy and dreadfully claustrophobic, and yet not nearly as bad as I'd feared it would be. Probably, in large part, because over the past two years I've perfected my ability to put myself into a dissociative trance to a high art. And anyway, I'm not particularly anxious about the results of this MRI. I mean, I'm not suspecting brain tumors or degenerative lesions or anything more dramatic than just a little residual chemo brain damage, which may or may not show up on the scan.
What happened was, the last time I went in for my routine six-month oncology clinic visit, I complained about having memory and concentration problems and just generally being a spacey ditz. I figure the chemo brain phenomenon still hasn't fully resolved, so I asked the young resident if there was anything I could take for it, like maybe Ritalin or one of those drugs. He went back to ask the oncologist on duty, and the way she described it to me when she could finally stop laughing was he burst into her office with this incredibly hopeful look on his face and gasped, "A lady out there wants to know if there's a pill she can take to improve her memory. Is there such a thing???"
Now this brilliant oncologist is actually rather well known around these parts, though I'd never seen her before and had no idea she was even doing time at Our Lady of the Damned. So it was a huge honor when she sat down to casually chat with me. I liked her a lot.
After reviewing my chart and asking me some basic questions, she said, "You know, it's not really unusual for our memories to give us a little trouble, what with aging and menopause and all. What sorts of problems have you been having?"
"Well," I said. "Last week I locked my keys in my car."
"Ha!" she said. "That's nothing. Last week I locked my keys, my phone, and my emergency beeper in my trunk. And the whole 45 minutes while I was waiting for the Pop-A-Lock truck, I had to listen to the phone ringing and the emergency beeper frantically beeping, like all my patients were dying."
"Well," I said. "I missed my turnoff on the interstate. I was halfway to Shreveport before I even realized it."
"Ha!" she said. "That's nothing. One Tuesday I went to my Wednesday hospital by mistake, and I was on my third patient before I realized it."
"Ok," I said. "I accidentally sent a fuck-you email intended for my ex to my landlord in California instead."
"Whoa," she said. "Wow. Ok. I'm ordering you an MRI of the brain, stat."
Anyway, it'll probably be a week before I can get these results since everything kind of shuts down for Mardi Gras around here. But meanwhile, to tide us over, this morning after the MRI I went to the medical records department and obtained the results for last Friday's CT scans. And here's what they have to say:
Impression: Negative CT of soft tissues of neck, unchanged since August 27, 2007. Negative CT abdomen & pelvis, unchanged from August 27, 2007. Negative CT thorax, unchanged from prior exam.
100% negative, still clean as a whistle, not a trace of trouble anywhere! I've been free of disease for one year since my last chemo now, and though the odds are still uncomfortably high that the lymphoma could return, passing the one year mark means they are considerably less uncomfortably high. Prognostically speaking, this is a statistical milestone. Or vice versa. Anyway, the best possible news.
And now with a tip o' the wig to my wise spiritual mentor the Ever Ob. Rev. B. Dagger Lee, would you all please join me in singing along to the Great Goddess of Soul: