26 May 2018

(# 5) The Mystery of the Pulsating Cancer Mask Revealed!

This is the 5th of 50 posts on #Recovery from #Addiction, #Alcoholism and #Cancer


"The Mystery of the Pulsating Cancer Mask Revealed!"

QUICK INTRO to these 50 Posts: I am Alcoholic with 13+ yrs. of Continuous Sobriety, preceded by an 8-year period of Chronic and Perpetual Relapse. Now, leading a Solid & Joyous Life in Recovery, I Now Face Cancer & Recovery from Cancer.
These 50 Posts are my tool in Recovery from BOTH, addiction and cancer!
I AM A TOOL! (I've been called worse, in my drinking career and as recently as yesterday, ho-hoe!)
Without further ado... POST # 5....
Every millisecond, a living moment dies, leaving a smattering of memories in its wake. The present, on edge between what's gone and what's left to come, seems both illusion and ultimate reality.
With thoughts like these, is it really any wonder that the highly-trained oncology-team specialist looked at me as if I were insane (a look grown more familiar to me with each passing year) when I asked her why (during my 15-minute radiation treatment) the form-fitting cancer mask pulsated during treatment? 
My days seem filled with ordinary/extraordinary eureka! moments such as these. Growing up, a nearby aunt or uncle may well have proclaimed "Will wonders never cease?!?!" - half-statement, half-question, reacting to whatever perplexing fascination was on hand. Today, I might gingerly call times like these my WTF moments! 
I did not know what I couldn't have known about this rigid, form-fitting mold of my face (photo from cancer.gov). This mask fits me exactly, following the most minute contours of nose and brow, along with all the rest of my face.
Initially, when the technicians placed this warm, moist mesh upon my face, it reminded me of a dishcloth placed over me. It took only around 10 minutes to harden into place, a far-cry from a sculpture in granite, chiseled over weeks and months by a Rodin, for example, but equally effective at capturing the details of facial identity for their exacting radiation procedures.
Prone, on the long table surface, strapped in, listening to soft music in the background, eyes closed, I felt the mask, sturdy, structured, unchanging as its form was meant to be. Forthwith the mask began to move more tightly over my features, particularly my nostrils and cheeks, not in rhythm with my breathing, more like the ticking of a clock.
How and why it seemed to move towards me and then as mysteriously away, again and again and again, I soon found out (in my imagination, aunt and uncle rhythmically repeating "Will wonders never cease?!?!").
Step back from this experience for just a moment more, so that I may share a similar experience we've all gone through. Certainly, you've been on a train or in a car when another vehicle traveling in your same direction slows from the same speed that you've been traveling and it appears momentarily to move backwards, despite your absolute knowledge that such an observation was not possible, was an illusion which, despite knowing this, tricked you? Knowing that it was not so, that the train or car could not possibly be moving in the opposite direction which you categorically knew was impossible, did not, could not change the illusion, even when you knew that was the case.
SPOILER ALERT! (It's about time. This post is near its close, anyway!): It was not the sculpted plastic mesh mask that was moving closer to my face and then retreating, it was my own face, the surfaces of my skin, filled with the pulse of life, expanding and contracting against it. The mask remained rigid. It was I who was moving. It was I, striving to be as absolutely still as possible, but could not be because I am still so full of life.
How odd that this was all the proof I needed that I was still alive. I was not Rodin's thinker, sculpted in stone, I was living, breathing, pulsating LIFE.
We are working to beat this cancer, surely as my own heartbeat continues. Every millisecond, a living moment dies, leaving a smattering of memories in its wake. The present, on edge between what's gone and what's left to come, seems both illusion and ultimate reality.
There is hope here, wave after wave of hope. 
Resilience reigns.
Post (# 6) lags not too far behind, the mystery of the mask revealed.

The first 4 other Cancer / Alcoholism / Addiction posts are immediately below this fifth one on the link provided here (Reverse Chronological Order): https://alldrinkingaside.blogspot.com
(If you're already on the All Drinking Aside Blog page, consider this link part of my Ridiculousness!)
#SurviveAddiction #SurviveCancer #SurviveYourself
Finally, whether it be Cancer, Addiction, Alcoholism, Recovery or All of the Above,
"Hear Ye, Hear Ye... Read All About it, Wherever, Whenever, However!
You may also wish to Explore ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal, by the same author:
An Addiction Fiction & Autobiography-in-One / Check out the 30+ 5***** Star Reviews!

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