Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Morning After

Celtic Tree of Life Fine Art Tapestry by Jen Delyth

I was okay heading out. I felt calm and collected until Miss Pegged pulled in front of the hospital. At that point I had a mini-meltdown.

But Miss Pegged was patient and nurturing, and after a tissue or two, YOU pushed me, ever so gently, out of the passenger seat and through the revolving front door.

It was a short walk across freshly polished marble floors - passed the auto-play baby grand piano and jumbo sized tropical fish tank, to the well-appointed, radiology reception area. If nothing else, this place is palatial.

As I announced my on-time (thanks to Miss Pegged) arrival, I envisioned myself checking into a Four Seasons Resort. While waiting my turn, I sat in the chair that most resembled a throne. I sat up straight, held my head high, and with the volume muted, played the baby monkey game on my iphone. 

I printed out a micro-version of your comments, texts, facebook messages and emails, and slid them inside my wallet next to my insurance card - proof that people are caring, kind, and generous, and that I am loved.  

Before I agreed to expose my breast, I needed to rant. The nurse, technician and doctor, stood in silence as I rambled on about the barbaric nature of this procedure, the fact that I wore deodorant despite their instructions not too, and how I would NOT under any circumstances release the rudraksha beads from my left hand, a gift from my dear friend, Aloha Steve.  

I explained how these beads had been purified in the ocean waters off the Big Island in Hawaii. How they effect all major chakras, give health and peace, and relieve fear of untimely death. In addition to this and other mystical benefits, these are my writing beads. If I've written something brilliant, it's thanks to these. Now, if I hold them, strongly in my hand, I have all of YOU with me. With you at my side, I feel brave and confident in my quest for perfect health. 

And so I disrobed, while clutching my rudraksha beads. 
I stood stoically through a series of mammograms while clutching my rudraksha beads.
I climbed the table, got on all fours, slowly lowered myself, and gave my breast up to the hole - the super-sized donut hole in the center of the table - while clutching my rudraksha beads.  

I laid completely motionless, eyes closed, rudraksha beads in hand, while the medieval machine smooched my right breast, injected it with lydocaine, and inserted the core needle used for the biopsy.

After all three of my "adorable" microcalsifications were removed, a titanium microchip was inserted to mark the spot. 

"If it makes you feel any better," said the nurse,"prostate procedures require an instrument being inserted into the rectum."  

Call me crazy, but that sounds kinky and fun under the right circumstances.

Before leaving, I explained how I would need to be given the results as soon as possible. How they should not pause while speaking - just give it to me fast. Then, after thanking them for allowing me to hold my rudraksha beads, I told them that, regardless of the outcome, I was glad I twirled fire topless at Burning Man. 

I managed to keep my mouth shut about the valium I had taken - knowing I was prohibited only because legal jargon states that you need to be clear-minded when signing the consent forms.

I continue to hold on to your emails, text messages, phone calls and comments, and I'm wearing my rudraksha beads 24/7.

I AM NOT WAITING for the results, I am focused on the NOW. I am living in the beauty of the moment.

Thank you all for accompanying me on this journey.



  1. Believe me, if a patient needed a valium to get thru a test, I'd never object. I have a patient scanning RIGHT now as I write this who is terrified and overwhelmed by my camera. If I had a valium, I'd give it to him myself. Well, no I wouldn't because then I'd be fired, but you get the idea.

    Love you GM.


  2. This was some powerful writing, it completely floored me. I still don't know what to say... I am woefully unprepared for serious situations, I always want to make a joke or dance around.

    Thank you for having the bravery to share your story with us, and you'll be on my mind as you have to go through this waiting period.

  3. First of all valium, fifth of Bombay or other mind altering libations aside, who in their 'right mind' is going into something like this with a clear mind. Give me a break.

    You were very brave. Keep hanging on. Waiting to know is one of the worst parts. Still here for you.

  4. Yeah should be nothing wrong with a valium, saying otherwise is just dumb, stupid lawyers. And something up my bum, no thanks...haha

  5. You're a rockstar, Shannon. You are living hard and fully and have been kind enough to invite the rest of us for the ride. Your openness and honesty is raw, rare and to be honored. Thank you for sharing with me, with us. We're all behind you 100% of the way... without any medical instruments, however.


  6. Happy to be of service. - The Moose

  7. You are incredibly courageous. Praying for the best results. So amazingly touched you took the comments with you <3 <3 <3

  8. Thinking of you, Shannon! I'll continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Wishing, hoping, and praying they bring good news to you quickly. *big hugs*

  9. You're doing great! You took what you needed, held what you needed, spoke as you needed. You took care of you!!! I think it's awesome. May I puleeeeeze get there one day :)

  10. I am 37.

    A few months back we found some things that needed to be checked out. Seeing as I had had cancerous cells removed from my cervix at 17, there was no waste in time to have me checked.

    It did not minimize the dreaded wait though.

    All that to say, I feel your pain. You are wise to be in the moment, because in the end that's all we have. :)


  11. I am so behind in my emails and blog readings. Love you all. thank you. thank you......

  12. What we need is you in government. They always talk about "transparency" and then do their best to cover everything up. You are truly transparent. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Mr. Marbles

  13. Aloha Shannon,

    I am already calling it that this particular "query" is coming back with a big Negative all over it.

    Hugs from a non-bead carrying temporary Hawaiian :)

  14. Only you would could consider defiant deodorant and rectum procedures as kinky. :) But I am extremely glad you took with me you and I got your back Monkey!
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  15. 10:20 am - so much for NOT waiting. I'm glued to my phone, palms sweating...

  16. I am glad you are living in the now. It's all we have really.

    I've thought about you so often. Always during my daily meditation/walking the dog walks.

    I know for sure that regardless of the outcome of the tests, you will be alright, more than alright. You are strong, beautiful and whole. Blessings.

  17. Think positive and try to live in the moment. Thinking good thoughts for you Shannon!

  18. Suup! If you get too jittery read zeroscape and it all hurts articles. I am so glad the trauma article cheered you up.

    You write a lot better than me so I had to join your blog to join your blog. I just started to do some haiku with a group of great people. It's Mon night haiku every week one of us wins and hosts and picks out a new topic. It might distract you or give you some perspective.

  19. Thinking of you. Thinking the positive, alive thoughts that you inspire through your awesome energy.

  20. MOnkey-thinking of you SO much right now. xoxox DB & BB


Thank you for encouraging my JOY of writing. By reading and commenting you are feeding my soul, stroking my heart, and in the end...making me a better writer.

Thank You For Encouraging My Joy of Writing

Thank You For Encouraging My Joy of Writing

Shannon E. Kennedy


Photo by Joan Harrison