“So how’d it go?”

The MRI is (supposed to be only an hour and a half but he is in there for 2 1/2 hours while I pace outside vacillating between panic and despair and internal reprimands of thinking positive especially since we had travelled to get this scan on the best machine and the doctors are not expecting anything dramatic since he hasn’t had any symptoms recently but of course that means nothing because he didn’t have any symptoms the first time either and we know how that worked out plus I have noticed that he’s been tired more often lately and he totally can’t concentrate even though he is doing well in school but that also doesn’t mean anything either because even if he’s getting straight A’s they keep reminding us that it’s probably only a matter of time before he will need more treatment and he’s already so sick of medication and doctors and missing school and putting on MRI scrubs and those horrible socks that they try and make cheerful and cute with the bear paws but c’mon he’s 14 and that doesn’t work anymore like the anesthesia that is supposed to smell like strawberries but just smells like those dangling tree-shaped air fresheners and even though it knocks him out it can’t taste good for those few seconds especially since it probably reminds him of the Uber we were just in to get here at this ungodly hour where I hang out in freezing rooms with bad coffee and worse lighting, ignoring text messages and scrolling though TikTok for the hours that he’s in there so I don’t have to think about the hours he’s been in there because there was probably a complication like his breathing stopped or he had a seizure or he finally got a reaction to the gadolinium and how awful it is that I can just call up that word so easily along with the brand names of chemo drugs and inhibitor drugs and all their side effects and that I can read through new advances in cancer research and brain tumors as casually as BuzzFeed articles which make no difference for the here and now in the MRI waiting area where I fill out the forms for copies of the CD so that when I’m home I can pop it in my ancient computer that I keep only because it still has a CD player that lets me scour the images for hours pretending I know what I’m looking at and seeing cancer everywhere because even before I refreshed MyChart for the millionth time that day knowing that the report would not have been uploaded so quickly I convinced myself that we are getting bad news and know that even if we aren’t we will still be back in this same place again and again with the dreary socks and the all-too-bright rooms and the warmed up blankets that don’t keep him cozy past the first few minutes and my smile that I’ve kept plastered on my face for the past two weeks up until this point in a futile attempt to ‘think positive’ even though I know he sees through it and thankfully never calls me on it with the tacit reminder that rears its head each time we are here that maybe we are on borrowed time and all we can hope is that one day our lives will once again be) stable.”

Amazing! You must be so happy!

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7 replies

  1. Know how you feel. It’s been almost 9 years of every 3 month mris – the scanxiety can make you crazy. Just made an mri t shirt for Anny. It says “radioactive, radioactive wo wo oh…” if you know the song – it’s one of Annys favorites. Figured that maybe levity helps. Thank god she doesn’t need to be sedated – hates that wait for the wake up part. Now she is accompanied by the radiologist back to me. Sending virtual hugs and while our kids have different diagnosis and different treatments – we are all in the same boat. Stable means good for now but maybe not the next one or the one after

  2. and this was one of your shorter sentences. you did well expressing yourself.

  3. His is just how I feel …. 3 years and still not different. Infact I think I am worse this time .

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