Scheduling the next scan


I sit in the familiar off-white office, with the cups stacked neatly on the shelf, and a few panoramas of autumn leaves. The doctor squeezes my throat hard as I swallow water from the cup, feeling for tumors in my neck. There are none. The rest of the appointment breezes by - yes, my calcium is still low, so I have to keep chomping down the Tums. My drug levels are perfect for suppressing cancer growth, which means I'm tired for some other reason. He hands me the white sheet with the schedule for my cancer scan in January, and I am suddenly floating, untethered from reality, off into the whitewash of the fluorescent light.

And so a day comes and goes, and I measure the week in doctor's appointments, therapy, naps. My mother comes to stay since I chose to stay at home through my latest bout of suicidal thought and nightmares, flashbacks. I convalesce in my bedroom under the comforter.


One more scan, one more long vacation from home, one more chance to find the tumor lurking. Then the doctor says we can just follow my tumor markers since the scans aren't finding the tumor anyway. I don't know what's worse: having the scans to find the supposed tumor, or giving up and living with the tumor. In any case, I'll try not to think about it until January 16.