Submitted by David Anderson.
The head of the Oncology department was reviewing on the big screen monitor the positron emission tomography (PET Scan) image results taken of my wife from nearly head to toe.
In my hand I had a paper copy with the word ‘RESULTS’ big and bold at the top. It was for us to keep and it documented in detail what they’d found.
At one point during the doctor’s explanation, as she turned to the computer to scroll down to what it was she wanted to show us, my wife turned to me and asked what I had discovered in my reading.
“What does it say?”
I could have read where it said, “you have a ‘axial and appendicular skeleton’”; or “your ‘best target for CT-guided percutaneous tissue sampling is the left iliac’”.
But of course, I understood none of this, so I simply replied, “It says you are unremarkable.”
The doctor burst out laughing.
“That’s a good thing! You want to be unremarkable. You have enough ‘remarkable’ suspicious indicators so to be ‘unremarkable’ is good.”
There are more biopsies to come and pending the results, a drug treatment program that could allow us a 60th wedding anniversary. We celebrated number 46 just a few days ago.
So, while this is still quite a steep mountain to climb, we’re determined to stop more often than not now and enjoy the view.
And to look back on where we’ve come from.
Like this fond memory of mine:
My wife had planted a garden. We thought originally that the seeds were for vegetables, but in short order they – whatever ‘they’ were – became a jungle.
Whatever was growing had overrun the space available, the adjoining lawn, the bulkhead that separates the garden from the lake, and it had begun to obscure the view.
Our son-in-law swore he was sure he could see it growing – moving, spreading, reaching – even as he was watering.
He backed away.
The huge leaves of whatever it was (my wife lost the plastic identification tags) would one day – soon – serve as umbrellas for the pontoons we rent out on the water.
To find the pontoons you already had to part the foliage and peer through.
One thing was for sure, we would all live happily ever after eating whatever it was that was growing.
Relatedly, I ran across this Aramaean proverb: “That which will become a gourd shows itself in the bud.”
That’s probably a helpful saying to horticulturists but one of them I am not. Nor, evidently, is anyone in our family. Blooming idiots we are collectively when it comes to knowing what’s blooming out – and up – there.
But I do know this.
When it comes to life, laughter and love, my wife is – 46 years and counting – remarkable.