Sunday, November 12, 2006

on the front line

Ever since I had that scare regarding my spleen, I have thought about that bloody, sack of an organ located in my left abdomen. I have thought about it at some moments more than others, but regardless it has remained not too far below the surface of my consciousness. I continue to experience a strange feeling around where my spleen is positioned. It's never painful, but it comes and goes and this happens regularly from day to day. It's this daily physical awareness that prevents me from not thinking about the status of my spleen. Every day I habitually massage that area of my abdomen aiming to see if I feel any pain when I touch or press against a certain area. But there's never any pain. It feels fine. While I exercise on the elliptical or stair master at the gym, I habitually press my fingers into my left abdomen seeing if there's any indication of pain or discomfort but there's never any.

During the past two weeks in particular, I have thought about my spleen a lot wondering what the PET-CT scan, which I plan to take in December, will reveal about that organ. Will the report be completely clean as I hope so much for or will the results be more ominous? Yet more bad news I wonder. I, of course, don't know. In some ways, I wish I could have the exam done at this very moment, so that regardless of the outcome at least I'd know where I'd stand. I could then move forward in this direction or that direction. But as it stands, I feel like I'm in a state between spaces which aren't clearly defined. The outcome, whatever it may be, I feel is not clear. It's not clear enough to make me feel at ease. But I guess that in many ways my feelings, my thoughts regarding my spleen and its strange machinations puts me at the front line yet again with my own mortality. By "front line," I mean I am placed directly before the tenuousness of my own existence. Indeed, all life (human and non-human) is frail and can be taken so quickly. It's this fact about existence that cancer patients and indeed, anyone who's ever been faced bluntly with death, knows all too well.


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