“Black Friday”? Not for this girl.

First things first: A couple of days ago, I’d promised to report back with some suggested wine pairings and side-dish recommendations for my CT contrast “smoothie.”

Alas, I’ve got nothing. The “berry” flavor was as bad as I’d feared. The consistency? Even worse. And to add insult to injury, my barium beverage rendered me uncontrollably flatulent for the rest of the day. (Poor Esteban.) That stuff just became Reason #21,897 Why I’d Rather Not Have Cancer.

Add in a gruff radiologist who repeatedly (violently!) pinched my skin as he wrestled with my i.v., an ill-fitting tie-in-back get-up that was four sizes too big, the anxiety of wondering whether all the radiation would cause problems of its own, and the hassle of trying to find my way back to my car in that sprawling rat-maze of a gigantic medical complex, and you have the makings of a pretty rotten day.

And yet I’m perfectly content. That’s because, on the whole, my day was still wonderful.

My dog-sitting friend Tucker and I started the morning off with a predawn walk. I shivered the whole time (it was only 5˚F), but I loved my predecessors’ ghost-like footprints on the sidewalks.

I also loved Tucker’s urgent entreaties that I “throw the stick!” when we got home. He must think I’m Superman. (Thanks, buddy. Right back at ya.)

I loved having lunch with my friend Naomi right after my scans. It turns out that friendship, laughter and sushi are the best antidote to a morning in the hospital.

I also loved coming home to Esteban and surfing the Web together. He showed me some clips from The Onion. I showed him a gorgeous video by my former colleague Brian Peterson.

Then Esteban, Tucker and I took a nap together. One word: Bliss.

As the day draws to a close, I can’t help but hear Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” in my head. I have no idea what news the coming days will bring. But for today, this Friday is far from black.


  1. Gross. Berry flavored? Once they gave me vanilla creme flavored and let me tell you! There was absolutely nothing vanilla or creme-y about it. I think the pokes, pricks, sticks, bone marrow biopsies, scans, x-rays, genetic testing, MRIs, and so forth are all reasons why I would rather not have cancer! But at this point we are kind of like experts, aren’t we? I can insert big fancy medical words into everyday conversation, which maybe shouldn’t be a talent I should be proud of, but it’s taken me a long time to come this far.

    Fuerza chica 🙂

  2. “Fuerza chica” is right! And ditto for “paciencia, chica!”

    I often say that modern medicine is a double-edged sword. If not for the CT and MRI machines, I’d still be wandering around thinking that I’m one of the healthiest people on the planet. (Funny thing is, that may *still* be the case, in spite of all the scary tests.)

    And like you, I’m finding a special kind of joy in throwing words like “morphology” and “histology” into casual conversation. My goal is to one day pass for a brain surgeon, instead of a brain patient. Ha.

    Anyway, thanks for all the encouraging notes. I look forward to meeting you (and hopefully L as well) soon!

    Feliz fin de semana,


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