My body is cheating on me again, or so my doctor suspects.
Harmless flirtation, she says. Just being friendly, she tells me. And I sooooo want to believe her.
My doctor, though, is like a girlfriend who shoves a cheating husband’s phone in my face with an unknown number and says “Call it. What can it hurt? At least you’ll know.”
So he orders tests and scans in hopes of explaining why my numbers aren’t doing what they’re suppose to do. Calling my body on her stuff.
Can she really be this duplicitous this soon? I’ve only been on these meds a year and they were working so well. And I’ve lavished so much attention on her – running, swimming, biking, eating well. Basking in the sunlight outdoors. Avoiding stress. Certainly she must be enamored with me. Certainly she can refrain from the addiction, the habit of consorting with cancer cells that spell both of our doom.
I know she can’t help herself, that even if this time I find my faith in her is warranted, there will be another time, another place where she’ll cheat. Those wanton cancer cells are too tempting.
My doctor gives me the same advice my friend would – a change of scenery will do you both good, whether she’s cheating or not. Time to chart a new course, no matter whose number it is, no matter what these numbers mean.
We talk about switching out one pill for another. Maybe this new one will neuter my body’s desirous, philandering ways. Maybe this one will keep her faithful, at least for a while longer.
And so I endure the humiliation of the accusation, the suspicion and what it takes to uncover the truth, whatever it is, dangerous or not. The poking, the prodding, the fasting, the gagging on chalky substances so I can be scanned by coffin-like machines that can see into my inner-most spaces, beyond even my nakedness and scars. So that my body’s true intention is revealed and then everyone will know.
Maybe it’s like a misdialed call, the numbers a fluke, I tell myself. Maybe she even intends to surprise me, prove to me her love and the tests will show that my body’s banished those troublesome cells forever. My doctor, like my girlfriend, smiles smuggly over a raised eyebrow that says I’m being delusional when I suggest this.
The truth is, we are bound forever by unfaithfulness. Me and a body who can’t refrain from cheating on me with cancer cells that may one day be our demise. And my delusion that it could be otherwise….if only. If only what?