Archie is waiting for me to offer him the last mouthful of warm oats. He doesn’t actually like it. He just likes the idea of sharing my warm breakfast. So we go through our little ritual every morning. He purrs next to me while I spoon the delicious concoction into my mouth. His eyes don’t leave mine until I put the bowl down. Then, he takes one lick and saunters off. Xena knows that she’ll have the titbit in her bowl in a few minutes. I enjoy the game as much as they do. And no, I don’t want to know what that says about my maturity.
It’s just struck me that my stretch towards the light is becoming shorter and shorter and I have left out an important part of the healing process. Laughter.
I thought this cancer/corona journey would make serious inroads into curbing my sense of humour. Yes, I’ll admit, I have become more serious about life. I don’t laugh as loudly or as often as I used to. There are some who think that it’s about time too. But I was relieved to find that instead of stressing about the breathing technique, while I was lying half naked on a sci-fi scanning machine, I was frantically suppressing a fit of hysterical giggles.
Okay I don’t blame you if you think I’ve truly lost the plot now. But here’s the thing. I was a little nervous and embarrassed to find that my radiographer was a young man. He was a kind, gentle one but still a man. Despite my age, I have a little bit of a prudish streak in me. Of course I was being silly. The man was highly professional and this was his job. I trusted him implicitly and did exactly as I was told. “Put your arms above your head.” I obliged and lay perfectly still. “Listen to the voice and take a deep breath when you’re prompted to.” I was ready for that. I’d practised holding my breath and knew that I could double or triple the time required if I had to. After the third time, the female voice grew silent. I kept still, waiting for the signal that it was all over. Just then, a strong male voice broke into my reverie. “You have excellent…lungs!” It took all my will power to hold back the bubble of giggles. I made it back to my car before the laughter took over and I let it spill over until the tears streamed down my face.
Perhaps you won’t understand why I thought it was so funny. I’m not sure I do either. On the way home, I mulled over the compliment and really enjoyed it. Maybe my years of swimming had actually paid off. I had been a smoker but was bribed to stop when I was 26 years old. (Won”t mention any names but thank you!) By now, Archie would be pretending that he wasn’t waiting for my return, either at the gate or in the owl house. He knows I’ll laugh if it’s the latter.
So the next step on this journey is to be given my radiation schedule. I’m ready for it. I’ll also be very happy to have the kind, young radiographer again. (Just don’t tell him about my hysteria. He might not be amused.)