These are my scan-altars.
They are so timely, so scheduled. Every 3 months in my life pathway I come to one and stop. (At times, it does seem like I am merely circling, yes, coming back to the same scan, the same altar in time. But then I look around me and see the surrounding life is different, I am in a different stage of life, of moments.)
He is teaching me and showing me that scans are necessary not just for me physically, but mentally and spiritually. He is tranforming my mind in how I view scans now.
It is easy, easy as life goes on, as you move away from chemo-past to cancer-free future to easily forget (yes, forget) the past. Or you can easily deny it, even if it was accidental. Your mind becomes so selfish, so self-focused on what am I doing now, where I am going? Without the chemo and hospitals and fatigue daily it is easy to forget that you and cancer are even related. The only connection to this now seemingly distant cousin cancer is now hospital visits and scans as if it were a family holiday gathering every few months of the year.
This is the thing about cancer: you might be finished with the treatments, you might even be declared cancer free, but it never leaves you. It is a living, breathing thing, seems almost eternal though dormat now in my bones, as if it is sleeping in hibernation for a period of time. Scans searching and seeking within my flesh things that I cannot see myself. My scan-cycle life is never ending. And it is quite easy to deny this fact until you receive that call that your scans are coming up again, and the cancer memories and future-concerns are now in your ear alongside scheduling machine reminder’s voice.
I don’t want to be surprised-reminded any more.
These scans are now altars.
Altar reminders of the past yes, but of ultimately thanksgiving. Reminders not to think about the past or to worry about the future, but to be in the present and give thanks.
This is even now a hard mental transition for me to look at scans this way. (I’ve been looking at them so differently for 11 years of my life now, how could it not?)