Test Day Arrives
As a student and graduate student I studied for tests. I controlled the knowledge I needed to excel. I scoped out my professors, understood exactly what was expected and planned accordingly. As a teacher and professor myself, I constructed tests that my students had complete control over, including framing the questions that were asked. Today, I am taking two tests that I have absolutely no control over, that simply scan for tumors that are either there or they are not. These two tests will determine both the treatment for and the predicted mortality based on whether or not the cancer is localized.
Given the gravity of these tests and the fact that I am a passive participant, I am simply looking at the experience as one of proximity. I present myself, silently shout Here I Am without reservations or expectations. The results of the test will give voice to the deafening silence of the Absolute Other, the infinitely unapproachable Other. Nothing more can be said of the experience. I am in a state of proximate waiting without anticipation or demands. Sometimes the ethical simply sucks.
I want to be angry but to do so somehow diminishes my responsibility. In my personal battle, I must present myself to many others without reservation and without expectation (which is much harder to do). This simply means that I am responsible for the responsibility of the other. I take the ethical risk that my doctors are skilled, have my best interest at heart, would do everything possible to achieve a successful outcome yet I also know that with risk comes potential failure; that even the best efforts of those professionals within whom I am responsible may simply not be able to control this particular disease. So, Here I Am, ready to listen and follow, to do what I am told to do, to participate responsibly in my own treatment; in short, to plunge into the asymmetrical relationship, the responsible relationship with my medical team and perhaps they too will answer the call.
So today, I present myself to the radiologists with a the presence of a silent Here I Am! I will follow instructions and then return to a state of proximate waiting for results. In the meantime, it is time to live, laugh, love and have a good time.