You Don’t Have Cancer

A little while ago, I had an ultrasound. This was due to the belief that my body, and left fun bag in particular, were riddled with disease. Anyhow, we weren’t. According to the measure of sonography, me and my left fun bag are completely cancer free.

I was, to employ the language of happy young people I see on the E! entertainment network, treed.  To wit: really rather pleased.  Pleased, in fact, to just beyond a point of rapture.

The phrase “You Don’t Have Cancer” ranks highly in the register of things one wants to hear.  Within its proper context, it’s is right up there with “I Love You”, “You’ve Got the Job” and “No. Honestly. That’s the Right Size for Me.”  On almost any day to almost any person, this would have been good news.

On this day, however, I was peculiarly delighted as I had, by then, become unaccustomed to good news.  I shan’t go on about my misfortune as such is (a) dull and (b) hardly good for encouraging traffic.  But, let it be said, our house has misplaced 2 x grandmothers, gained 1 x delusional stalker, lost 1 x career, acquired 1 x incurable disease and placed 1 x mother w/ dementia in permanent residential care all within a year. And, my favourite fragrance from Hermès had been discontinued.

So, the No Cancer thing was akin to collecting The Academy’s award for Best Actress, really. Or the Man Booker. Or, Healthiest Left Fun Bag Featured in a Network Miniseries all at once.  I was very happy. I immediately regretted not having worn a better frock to the imaging clinic.  Perhaps something in pink organza.

I may not have been dressed like Gwyneth, but I certainly wept as she did for her 1998 acceptance speech.  I was restrained, dignified and humble as I consented to my prize.

“You don’t have cancer,” he said.

You like me, I said to the ultrasound.  You really, really like me.

A radiologist, as I have lately learned, is not supposed to say this sort of thing while waving their diagnostic wand.  They’re supposed to submit their ultrasonic report long after they’ve smeared your left fun bag in goop, avoided eye contact with you and instructed you to pop your dress back on.  But, this dude broke the rules.  Bless him.

“Tell me, tell me, tell me,” I said.

“You can ask your GP,” he said as he squinted at little white lines on a black screen that looked like particularly shit Metallica cover art.

I looked for a sign in his face.  What, I wondered, was the facial response to a malignant tumour?  He seemed like a nice guy.  He seemed the sort not, even after performing many such procedures, to remain unmoved by the appearance of The Grub.

Disaster would somehow be reflected in this nice man’s face.  He avoided eye contact and looked only at my Metallica cans.

“Tell me, tell me, tell me,” I said.  And a few goopy waves later, he did.

I do not advocate this sort of medical nagging. It’s neither sane nor safe.

But sanity and safety have never been my stronger suits. And I nagged him and nagged him because, as I explained, damnit, I NEEDED good news.

“You don’t have cancer,” he said.

“Now, don’t tell anyone.”

As I left, he told me, “You know, you actually have very young looking breast tissue.”

It was the best compliment I’ve received all year.

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