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Link to click to read cancer blog which is part of the literary miscellany THIS IS A PICTURE OF YOUR GOD: A HUGH COOK READER

MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING SCAN
One of a suite of blog entries about the aftermath of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, including brain damage and eyesight damage; a survivor's account of the aftermath of cns lymphoma, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma of the large B-cell variety, in the author's case cancer of the brain and the spinal cord.


Part of
THIS IS A PICTURE OF YOUR GOD:
A HUGH COOK READER.


For my magnetic resonance imaging scan,
There is no induction process.
I am the expert,
The many times,
And they know it from their records.
The machine
Transports me into the tunnel,
Ready for my launch.
Gabrupting on,
The magnets mining for data,
Sharp drillbits of sound
Ferreting my psyche,
Discovering
The astigmatism of my ethic,
The skewed oblong of my soul.
Invasive gopera,
Gorthic with discord,
Flangelating the brain.
Tronstop! Tronstop!
Coherencies of code,
Impositions of certainty.
Noise garrotes and abrupts,
Gamhandling,
Onhocking,
Degolstigating.
Drilling the universe for my data.
Encrypted insertions,
Mega attacks of the alien armies,
Incursions
From the outer galaxies,
Serrated hammers,
Jagged stars,
Triumphant,
Suzerain,
Sound dominant.
Lordship rules the world.
The machine owns me.
Carelessly
Transgressive of aesthetics.
Conquering the universe.
In the background,
The steam piston,
Archaic powerhouse
At the heart of the universe,
A cryptic treadle hissing,
Gastumption! Gastumption!
And, over its underlay,
Silences, pauses,
Meditations of aggression,
Then the sounds again,
Jaculations,
Scarab extravaganza,
Inverted pyramids of annihilation,
Erratic in onslaught,
Emphatic in assault.
Bizarre beyond orchestras.
Music
Self-invented.
And so the MRI proceeds.
Out of the hurtling of expectations,
There will be an outcome.
These messed-up eyes of mine:
Damage from radiation?
Or cancer back and death?
We will get an answer
Teased from the puzzle palace
Of my mobile disaster,
That melt-down called my brain.
Half way.
Withdrawn from the machine,
I am injected.
A dye for contrast.
The drug
At the pulse of panic
Spurtles to the brain.
An instant smell,
Alien,
Fluid in the blood
Made olfactory:
The rare earth, gadolinium,
Conspiring with my neurons to create
An imagined odor.
I am breathing Betelgeuse.
Back in the machine then done.
The machine
Disgorges me.
Meat on the rack,
Extruding.
Out of the tunnel, headphones off,
Reclaiming shoes.
The woman,
She's been watching.
The acquisition not unobserved.
"I can see you've had brain surgery."
My infolds have no privacy.
That said, my nakedness is still a mystery,
The revealed brain
A hodgepodge of deconstruction,
Scarred by surgery,
Skeletal with tapered tumors,
Shrunken by methotrexate,
Cooked, and cooking still,
By radiation,
Its arc of change projected
To run for en years easy and chase fifteen.
If I live.
Some interpretation required here, obviously.
Next step: shopping.
Clothes.
Eighty dollars at the dirt and cheap.
Three T-shirts,
Seven pairs of underpants,
And ten pairs of socks,
Black,
Identical.
If I get out of here alive,
If I get back to Japan,
There will be a massacre of the geriatric socks,
Their mismatched jumblage
A holocaust
Promised and yearned for.
Okay, we got the scan
And we triumphed
In the realms of haberdashery.
We're on track.





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