Just turning north off Walnut Blvd. onto Satinwood St. today prompted a cardiorespiratory response. I could actually feel my pulse quicken, like it does when I’m out running intervals.
I was only headed to the hospital for my quarterly blood panel, but that left turn was an unwelcome reminder of the direction my life was headed last spring and summer. I don’t begrudge the follow-up tests since how I feel these days—which is great—is not to be totally trusted. Lab visits, auscultation, skin checks and CT scans are all lined up into the future in an attempt to cut off at the pass any cancer that might recur. They are a necessary evil.
Today it was skin and blood the dermatologist and phlebotomist were after; next week I see the oncologist and radiologist, who deal with the medically occult—a word derived from the Latin occultus, referring to “knowledge of the hidden.” I'll bet you didn't know that! With melanoma and most other cancers, what you see is not always what you get. These medical black arts are reimbursable, and so I submit to them. My insurance deductible will be satisfied in no time—unfortunately.
I’m gradually adjusting to the rhythm of living my life in three-month increments. It’s sort of like being a college student, with finals week at the end of every semester. Only in this case, failing grades will get you more than just kicked out of school. A little summer vacation is what I'd really like.