if you have been following my ramblings on line, you probably know that my wife Chameli and I have stumbled upon a way of being in marriage that is something close to a religious experience. We have learned together to drill down through layers of personality and habit, and to discover a dimension of each other which is divine. Chameli has become not just my wife or my best friend, but my way of meeting God in human form.
A few weeks ago she was having some unusual symptoms, and the doctor sent us to the emergency room for tests. We filled out forms, she got weighed and measured and labeled, they connected her up to an endless array of beeping machines and drew many little vials of blood. Then we waited, and waited, and waited. When the young doctor came back he looked serious, unshaven and as though he had been up for days on end surviving on black coffee. He talked about elevated markers for cancer, and the need for an immediate ultrasound. They wheeled Chameli off on a gurney. She looked up at me and grinned. “If you’re not careful, you could get really lost in this movie: being the poor suffering cancer patient.”
We waited some more, this time for what seemed like forever. Once the technician had talked to the radiologist who talked to the nurse, who talked to the doctor, he came back with more papers on his clipboard. “Of course, the tests are not completely conclusive,” he told us, in the same tone one might talk about the chance of rain when you plan to go golfing, “There is a sizable tumor, and I’d say you almost certainly have cancer. You’ll need to get referred to a specialist. ‘OK?’” he smiled, as though waiting for us to say “Great! Good job, Doc, just like Gergory House!” He left the room in which we were now both reeling. (more…)