Today was the big PET/CT scan day. I won't know anything for a couple days. I have the follow-up appointment with the surgeon Thursday at 4. I guess that we'll learn the biopsy results for the lymph nodes as well.
It was a sobering day, a day for reality to set in. After the IV with the radioactive dye is injected into your veins, you wait alone, for 45 minutes. There was an older man there waiting on the other side of the partition. He had cancer. You could tell. He was gaunt and thin with tufty hair. He had some piercing eyes though, and on his way out, he gave me a quick glance, waiting there, shivering (boy, it was cold in there) and he gave me a big smile and an encouraging thumbs up. I felt like I had been saluted by a veteran.
Before long, it was my turn. My feet were strapped down, a huge band held my arms to my side. I was cautioned to remain as still as I possibly could, and for 25 minutes, I did. My mind danced all over the place. I am haunted by the quote on Hal's sidebar. "...you don't lose the other ages you've been." My mind dances around those other ages. I talked with Dylan yesterday. His big fear was that I would not tell him the truth. "Of course I would," I said. He talked about moving back to the area. "Dylan," I say, "job security is kind of hard to come by." I also make it clear to him that he will deal with the fact that, at some point, his mother will die. For selfish reasons, I hope it's not going to be for a long, long while, but, you know, it is what it is. That's life. You can tell that he was digesting this for the very first time. I think about that conversation. I think that I handled a difficult topic as wisely as I could. I think about my kids, as teenagers, as children, as babies. I think about life before them, and strange glimpses of my own childhood begin to pop into my mind. High school, and grade school, and even before that. My very earliest memory is standing on our new front porch in Fredonia, New York. I remember stepping on the concrete and being surprised that it was solid. I remember walking around on it and being let back into the house. I was shocked later to see a picture of myself on that newly poured front porch. I was wearing diapers and rubber pants. I could not have been more than two, but I remember it clearly, being astonished that the concrete was solid. My mind dances around all the other ages I've been, and even dances ahead to the ages I hope to be, and I hold very, very still.