At the direction of my endocrinologist, I scheduled a couple tests to make sure my thyroid cancer is still in check. My labs were OK. This week, I went to Radiology for an ultrasound, then Nuclear Medicine for a whole body PET scan. The ultrasound required no special prep. The instructions for the PET seemed fairly routine until the last few sentences. I was distressed by the prospect of sitting around for an hour with nothing to read. Then I was told I musn’t “think too hard.” After the administration of the fluorosine glucose, I needed to keep
the ol’ gray matter at rest until the scanning process was complete. PET scans locate cancers by mapping out areas of increased glucose uptake. Because cancer cells multiply faster than normal cells, they require more glucose. As do brains when they’re in use, meaning that rumination by the patient could potentially skew the results. Tell me, how is a person supposed to “not think” while she lies under a scanner waiting for her fate to be decided? So much the worse if she’s a writer whose mind churns endlessly, chasing metaphors, counting syllables, and wondering why humor rhymes with something as un-funny as a tumor.
The following poem is a VERS BEAUCOUP, French for “many rhymes.” Each four-line stanza adheres to this scheme of internal and enjambed rhyme: a-a-a / a-b-b / b-c-c / c-d-d.
NO READING OR THINKING WHILE THE RIDE IS IN MOTION
Nuclear Med Man schedules my PET scan, explains the plan:
OK, ma’am, fast for six hours prior, wear comfortable attire
It also requires avoidance of brain stimulation as cogitation
could be mistaken by the scanner and read as brain cancer.
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