Yesterday I went to the James to talk to my surgeon. The last time I saw him was when I was 13 (oh my) and we are both different. A decade has past. I’ve graduated from middle school, high school and college since then. And the realization that I have had a metal bone now for ten years also, the very one this very surgeon in front of me placed within me. Wow.
Back then, at 13, I was one of his experiments for a new procedure. My metal femur is like a screw, screws down into existing bone towards my knee while, climbing upwards, towards my hip and into my hip socket is pure, pure metal. The typical procedure back then was to merely cement the metal bone onto the existing bone; the inevitable fate would be replacing it years later, seeing as the cement would wear down over time. The timeline for replacement: 10 years, a decade. The experimental screw-like bone I have was placed in hopes to outlast the typical, cemented procedure.
And it has. My experimental screw-like bone has outlasted patients with the cemented metal bones. And yet, the 10 year lapse of time we tried to avoid, the futuristic meeting time is now here in our present. We are still meeting but for different reasons, for different sides, different members of my body. Switch sides. Move from right to left. Move from this bone to that bone. Let’s follow cancer’s trail, its map across the country of my body.
We look at the pictures together.
It’s highlighted, it’s white. It is set apart, distinct. Cancer glows in these pictures. The magnetic force somehow brightens, whitens, spotlights the cancerous cells, the tumor. He wants to remove the tip of the bone where the tumor is clearly seen. But his eyes see something more. The entire bone, not just that tip, could be cancerous. This is new news. Looking at the pictures, its hard for me to distinguish amongst the grays and blacks and whites he sees, but his eyes are trained to spot this sort of thing. What vision!
So we are doing more pictures now, more images. I go in again on Monday for another MRI.
If the entire bone shines brightly on Monday, then the potential surgery is called off. It would be more harmful than good to remove the entire bone. But, if the scans are the same, and just the tip (which is hopefully shown to be diminishing in size) then the surgery plan will continue. Which I don’t even know that I want surgery, to be honest. Only Monday will tell of the plans. Monday, Monday.
Today, as Kendra and I are getting into our car, two ladies are getting out of their car in front of us. They mirror us: both cars’ passenger seats are occupied by bald women.
The bald woman is wearing a beanie, and comes up to me as I’m getting in the car. She takes her hat off and exclaims, “Mine is coming in! Its like peach fuzz!” rejoicing! smiling! And then walks away.
A brief moment of reaching out, connection, and mutual rejoicing for the other. I remember being in that position, her moment too. And I thought how wonderful of a moment to share with another human being and that she was willing to initiate with me to create such a moment. Thank you God you brought that woman here and out of it all. Please now let me follow her in her footsteps.