Got a call from my doctor / surgeon yesterday. “Surgeon” is perhaps not the right word for him, because we do a pretty good job of not using the word “surgery” for the minor procedures I’ve had this year. Instead we call them “procedures.” A “surgery” is defined by Merriam Webster as medical treatment in which a doctor cuts into someone’s body in order to repair or remove damaged or diseased parts. So I guess it depends on your definition of “cutting into.” Does that refer only to cutting through one’s outer epidermis? Or does it also apply if another mode of entry to the body and organs is used, and then the doctor cuts and burns things away? Unsure.
But earlier this year I went in for a colonoscopy and the doctor cut and removed “damaged or diseased parts.” Unfortunately there was one area that was too complex for that procedure, so we had to schedule another procedure with another procedurist shortly thereafter. The call yesterday was that procedurist explaining that although the procedure was largely successful, there was a tiny bit of the bad tissue “in the margin,” so it would be necessary to go in and “clean that up,” in a few months. Three procedures in less than a year is a new record for me.
With my history, of course the most important words are–and the doctor used them many times–“not cancer.” It’s not cancer. It’s just tissue that might become cancer, except that we won’t let it.
So, happy dance for that–always.
There is always an emotional fallout from such phone calls. News like this has a tendency to come just at those moments where I am thinking about making changes in my life. When I’m feeling “normal.” Literally, for the past week I have been making plans (and even taking actions) for “moving forward,” telling myself that I am not trapped in any of the circumstances of my life, that I have a diverse skill set and I can find lots of interesting things to with it, I don’t have to be stuck by pre-conceptions, I don’t need to be tethered by any reality that is not of my own construction. These were the pep-talks I was having with myself.
The reminder of how parts of my body, while “not cancer” seem intent on becoming cancer is a reminder of how dependent I am on our health-care system. That is a reality that does not seem to be of my own making.
Thus I am tethered.
I am tethered. If I feel there is injustice or ingratitude in a situation, I cannot escape it so easily. I can’t just fly away whenever I want and look over the landscape for something better. I can make moves, but they will be constricted and complicated because tethered. I can take the time to dig up the post and I can carry it with me. I can carry the post and I can walk. But I can’t fly.