Saturday I had a CT scan and an MRI. Over the past month or so, I've intermittently been awakening in the middle of the night with pain in my sternum. I've been worried and not worried, mostly taking my cues from my doctor; I trust him with my life. Friday he decided I needed to have some tests done. Having been through a lot at the medical center where I receive care, and having worked there for years until Abbott was born, people are prone to moving heaven and earth for me - in this case, squeezing me in on Saturday after deciding Friday that I needed to be evaluated. Not having to wait long was a real gift - anytime I get scheduled for a workup, I start fretting and getting panicky until it's over. I'm happy to say the tests did not show any cause for alarm - no cancer. I'll see my doctor later this week to discuss other possible causes of my symptoms.
In graduate school as part of my nurse practitioner training, I took a course on death and dying. Among other things, I had to write a will and get it notarized, and plan out my funeral (!). At the time of the course I had few possessions and didn't yet have children, so my will consisted of things like which relatives and friends would get particular books and earrings and other sentimental possessions. This was a couple of years after I first had cancer, and I was very uncomfortable directly facing my mortality; in general, I try not to think about it.
Throughout the close to an hour I was immobile in the MRI machine, I had very concrete thoughts about my mortality. I kept thinking, my life may be forever changed when this is over because of the information I'll receive. I may not be able to think of myself as a healthy person anymore. I need to think about what things I haven't done yet that I hope to accomplish before I die. Hurry.