Songs From The Scanners

One of the fun aspects of being a cancer adventurer is the long arc of follow-up scans, as the oncologists perform their sworn duty of looking for the return of the bad monkeys. They take this very seriously, and sometimes seem so sure that these bad monkeys will return, that in turn you start believing it too. That’s not a good thing. Like anything else in life, you tend to attract what you focus on; worrying about bad monkeys returning is almost like flashing a neon sign that says “Bad Monkeys, enter here!”
But it is hard not to feel that worry and fear, the “scan-xiety”, when you do these check ups, as that is the reason to just being there, being shuttled into a machine and x-rayed or probed with magnetic imaging. There is no way to pretend they are not looking for trouble – that is exactly what they are doing! The trick is to develop a mental attitude of, “You can look all you want but you won’t find any more bad monkeys!” and BELIEVE it.
Yesterday, I went to the Cancer Clinic and spent a merry day exploring different machines and technology. First I had a Crazy Talk scan (that would be a CT scan in medical lingo) of my chest, as once upon a time I had a stroke and the CT scan for that showed a little something, possibly a bad monkey, lurking in one of my lungs. They don’t know a lot about my cancer, but there is some thought that the lungs are a place the bad monkeys may migrate to, so they like to zap my chest with radiation to make sure I don’t have any abnormalities that may be caused by something like being zapped by radiation, in which case I’d need even more radiation to fix that. Crazy talk.
The CT scan is rather simple and somewhat amusing. You lay on a flat surface that can be remotely moved to slide into a round opening in a large cylinder and the x-ray camera spins rapidly around your entire body, creating an in-depth image of your insides, where you may have stored long-lost treasure. Or where bad monkeys may be hiding, feasting on some of that treasure.
There is a Pac-Man like face that lights up on the outside of the cylinder, to tell you when to breathe or when to hold your breath. A recorded voice also tells you, to make it easier for you to do your part. Fortunately, this voice is mainly benevolent and doesn’t say “Breathe in, hold your breath.” and then not say “Breathe!” until an hour later. I am always so eager to please, I’d probably be holding my breath still, if it chose not to give me permission to breathe again.
The CT scan was fairly quick, then it was time to get back into my street clothes and go to another floor and see if I had learned how to better tie a hospital gown at the back.
The Monkey Residual Inspection machine, or MRI in medical speak, is very similar to the CT machine, except this one uses powerful magnets to create an image of all those hidden treasures. That’s the simple version – it is a bit more complicated than that, having to do with messing with your atoms to create a detailed drawing of what you looked like before they started messing with your atoms.
I am fortunate, if one can use that word, that my original tumour was in my leg. This means only my lower half is slid into the tube of the MRI machine. My late partner had cancer in her face – she had to endure having her head in the centre of that small space.
It is LOUD too. I’m not sure exactly why. Something to do with the magnets changing frequency, although I suspect that it is a way for Siemens, the company that built the MRI machine the Cancer Clinic has, to increase their hearing aid business. They make those too, and I think if I have to endure many more of these scans I will need one.
They give you earplugs to lessen the noise, and then headphones over those so you can hear the technician, who hides in a safe little room like they do in all these scanning places. The problem is, the direct line to the technician picks up all the machine noise, and thus brings it right INTO your ear through the headphones! I had to move the headphones aside, close enough so I could still hear her, but not so close that the noise was deafening me. I told her about that afterwards and she seemed surprised. I guess no one has complained about that before?
The noise from an MRI machine sounds a bit like the greatest hits from an Industrial band. I liked some of the beats. Some were just out-and-out discordant though. I was pretty glad to get to the end of the album.
They say MRIs are relatively safe, provided you are not part cyborg or full of shrapnel from the war. Because this is a powerful magnet, apparently it has a knack of drawing these otherwise embedded metals out of your body to it, no matter what vital organs may be in the way. I made sure I removed my precious metals before the procedure.
But what unnerved me was the actual magnetic fields in my body changing. I could feel the powerful currents in my lower half. At one point it felt like my leg was actually being moved by the current, even though they had tied my feet together – oh good! bondage! – and placed a contraption over my legs to hold them still – aww, that kind of bondage doesn’t work for me.
We are energetic beings. Our bodies use our electrical current to operate all the bits and pieces properly. I could tell having an MRI messed my current up severely. I felt somewhat nauseous and headachey after, I tasted metal in my mouth, and my whole being felt out of balance. Last time I had one of these monkey searches done I never did “reset” myself, but yesterday I did what I had learned as “brushing” my energy, to try to get it all moving in the right direction again. Still, I have booked a Reiki session because I can feel my whole body is now out of whack in an energetic way.
Of course, it is hard to quantify reactions like this, so the medical people tend to dismiss them as not being real, but it sure felt real to me. When you tune in to your own fields and body more mindfully you do notice what changes when you do scans like this. One thing I noticed was when I closed my eyes I could see violet light getting smaller or leaving in waves outward. That is a reversed direction to what I have seen in a Reiki or other healing sessions. I tried to will the energy the other way but all I could do was slow it down. It felt like I was LOSING energy while I was in the MRI scanner.
The good news was that no bad monkeys were found in my leg, the site of the original tumour. I could have told them that. Maybe next time I will.
It’s a hard call to make – do you let them keep looking with their infernal machines, their bad monkey finding machines, their bad monkey attracting machines, or do you take a chance and decide you no longer need to have a cancer adventure? Sometimes, perhaps that is all you may need as the biggest step to health – a firm belief that you are healthy. It is very, very hard to believe that with your entire mind, spirit, and body though. The images of bad monkeys cannot be easily shaken from your memory.
It is a memory full of enough fear to make a person lay in a large tube and listen to harsh Industrial tunes and have your natural waves messed around with. The fear of bad monkeys never really goes away, once you have encountered them in this life.

monkey afraid


The Automatic Shutoff Gift

After years of killing innocent pots, pans, and kettles with the flames of distracted cooking, I finally wised up and bought myself an electric kettle and electric rice cooker, both with automatic shut off features. Now, when the water is boiled, or the rice cooked, these devices quietly shut themselves off and patiently wait for me to remember that I was at one time interested in what they were cooking or heating up. This patience is needed, as sometimes the black hole of Facebook or some similar, terribly important and vital, internet offerings will have sucked my mind and soul into a place where time passes slowly there, but quickly back in the real world. This is similar to one of those planets they visit in the movie Interstellar.

What does any of this have to do with bad monkeys or my health and healing?

Well, I was thinking about it this morning – we ALL have that automatic off feature in us. At some point in time we will be, shall we say, cooked, and a switch with control over our fates will flip and that will be that.

And, in a way, that is comforting for me to think about. When one hears dire news of ones health, and graven faced doctors deliver you the news that you are just a bad monkey or two away from absolute ruin, it is natural we get scared and feel panic. We want to fight for our very lives. Which is good. It is important to want to fight. But it can also set you up for the feeling that you are failing in that fight, and if you start judging it too much that can cause depression, more panic, confusion, anger, etc… a lot of emotions that might actually interfere with not only your healing energy, but your ability to enjoy the time you do have remaining,

We all have a switch that will turn the process off, so worrying about when that is going to happen or how, is not going to change anything, except make you feel more anxious and unable to enjoy that very process.

Our egos think very highly of themselves. They think they are the centre of the universe and, thus, they MUST stay alive to keep all matter existent! Which is true in a sense. But also an illusion, ignorant of a greater reality. It is my ego which veers out of control when faced with the idea of being switched off one day. How dare they! Don’t they know who I am?

There are many ways to learn to accept and embrace your automatic shutoff switch. And doing so will allow you to accept the inevitable and allow you to enjoy the process of cooking through life without worrying about whether you will burst into smoke and flames. You won’t. When your time comes, the switch will flip, and you’ll be ready for your next adventure.

(image from dzdrawz on tumblr)

Bad Monkeys In The Falling Temple.

Since all has been quiet on the bad monkey front since the removal of half my calf muscle in my right leg, which has recovered very well thank you, I haven’t really felt a need to post here. My new health problems, because I get bored easily and am always looking for the next new thing, aren’t really in the monkey category. Having a wonky heart that likely nurtured a lovely little blood clot and then sent it out into the bloodstream in the midst of life chaos, is more a structural problem than an insurrection action.
It is possible that the bad monkeys damaged the very temple they seek to hide out in, but that’s how them monkeys roll. I think, really though, they just choose a not so well-built temple to start with. That’s what happens when your temple is built with 1950’s building codes, when alcohol and cigarette smoke was commonplace on the work site. From the start I kind of knew I had a lemon. I’m actually surprised to have gotten this far, especially since I maintain this place the same way I maintain my house, and my cars. In other words, with a prayer my luck doesn’t run out.
I could see the stroke as a sign my luck ran out, but in another light it is that I got very lucky. First, I escaped it without any serious damage – only a highly sensitive reaction to loud clanging noises and bright lights, so no work in kitchens for me! And I probably should steer clear of firefighting and police work.
And in the course of trying to locate the home of the little clot that could, they noticed my heart just wasn’t what it could be. That’s for sure! I was told by a heart technician that heart-break is a real thing, and I suspect it is partly behind the damage to my heart. But I have also had heart issues in the past, related to anxiety, because to me the world always seemed too loud and clangy, and too bright and harsh.
And then there’s the lifetime of using asthma inhalers, since I was about 5. I had heard they will enlarge your heart. I thought that meant I would be more loving, and maybe that is true. But it also meant modifications were made over time that may have subverted the stability of the structure.
So all in all, it’s a shambles, this temple of mine. I could clean it up, and I am trying. Some days. Some days I just sit around, waiting for the monkeys, leaving my junk food wrappers and empty bottles. Those are the not so good days, and I am trying to make sure I have less and less of them. As one gets older one needs to simplify one’s space. It is easier to trip over the junk and I am reminded of how close I came to konking myself right out of the human race when I plummeted in late April.
So the plan is to clean the place up, make it less inviting for bad monkeys and their ilk, and try to shore up the structure. I have had to chase around some “experts” in doing this, as they seem to be avoiding me. Right now I am trying to chase down these guys, electrical physiologists they call themselves, who suggested we install a failsafe in case my heart decides to take the day off. I don’t really like the idea, but I do need to know my heart won’t play hooky in the future as it kind of runs the place. Don’t tell my brain. It thinks it does, but without the heart, my brain isn’t going to be at work either.
As for the bad monkeys, well…. the CT scan I had done the night of my stroke, showed SOMETHING in my right lung (only took them 5 months to tell me that). That is where my oncologist (chief monkey hunter) suspects the monkeys will turn up if they come back. So I am having another MRI of the leg and then a CT chest scan in December, right in time for Christmas!
A nice Christmas present for me this year would be NO BAD MONKEYS!!!!
I’ve had a hard year, and I try to be (mostly) a good girl, so it would be nice of Santa to gift me that. 🙂