Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Dreams: Head Cancer & Sandwiches

I'm sitting/lying in an operating chair in a doctor's office that is particularly cold and sterile. Metallic blue is the prominent color of the room. The doctor, stereotypically sporting a white coat and glasses, rolls up on his stool alongside me and delivers the bad news: I have cancer in my head. I don't recall exactly what KIND of cancer -- I remember thinking it was similar to leukemia -- but in any case, it was in my noggin.

Suddenly I'm in the lobby of the doctor's office to discuss insurance info, schedule a return appointment, etc. My mom has joined me at this point and is sitting at my left as we talk to the nurse on duty. She wasn't with me to receive the bad news, so she is still sort of unaware of what's going on. I'm nonchalantly chomping on a PB&J sandwich -- which I'm rather enjoying, actually. I am sensing a sort of nervousness as the nurse explains the possibilities and costs of treatments (including radiation), but my PB&J has me so satisfied that it's hard for me to stay focused on my own, dire health situation (if you knew how moist the bread was, perhaps you wouldn't be chuckling at me right now).

My mother is clearly confused. For some reason she keeps thinking the nurse's discussion regarding cancer treatments is for HER, and she keeps trying to figure out why the nurse would be telling her this instead of talking about ME. As I approach the last third of my sandwich, I realize that it's probably time I tell my dear mom what's going on -- but I don't want to have to wait to down the rest of this delicious meal!

Here is where I reach the climax of the dream-dilemma: delivering important news to my mother that will clarify some vague-yet-dreary information VS. finishing the best peanut butter & jelly sandwich in the history of mankind. Seriously, this is a tough choice to make in a matter of seconds!

Deciding I can make this a win-win situation, I cram the rest of the food into my mouth and, betwixt some rather painstaking chews, explain to my mother what's going on. Miraculously she can understand my muffled words, and isn't taking the news nearly as hard as I thought she would.

With my last swallow, the nurse gives a few quotes for what our medical expenses are going to be like. This is where the stress really sets in. Furiously upset by how high a price it is to treat cancer, I stand up and throw an empty paper cup toward a trash bin as if the cup were a rock and the bin were the living room window of every person who perpetuates the printing of Family Circus comics. As I do this I scream, "WHY IS IT SO EXPENSIVE FOR SOMEONE TO DIE?!"

The cup overshoots the bin and lands at the feet of a line of people waiting their turn to see the doctor. While they sort of look at the ground to figure out what just bounced against their legs, I calmly approach them, retrieve the cup, and gently place it in the bin.

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