Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Stray Cat Strut

Several weeks ago, as I lay on the radiation table getting my radiation treatment, the radio station that was playing over the loudspeakers played the song "Stray Cat Strut". It was a song that just happened to fit my mood that day.

Every time I do radiation, I would visualize different ways that the cancer cells were dying and going away. Sometimes, I thought of it like a nuclear blast (sorta like that nightmare Sarah Connor had in those Terminator movies), knocking down the cancer cells in their path. Sometimes, the radiation was like a commando walking around corners and blasting each cell. Sometimes, it was a healing light, cleaning up the whole dang mess. Sometimes, with a slower song, I imagined sauntering along and sweeping away the cancer. (It's interesting, I think, that I used a war image at first . . . that mellowed as the treatments continued. Hmm, what does that say? I think perhaps that there were so many cells to be destroyed at first, and then it was finding and cleaning up the last stragglers, which required a subtler method.)

(Or maybe I'm just full of s#$t!)

But the day I heard Stray Cat Strut, I imagined myself dancing along, either doing a hip bump on each cancer cell and knocking it down and out of my system. Or, it was like Willie Wonka (Gene Wilder in the original) when they went into the Candy Room and he would do this skipping dance step and kick those large balloon candy-fruit things. I was kicking the cancer cells out of my way.

I've decided that I liked that image a lot and so when I remember and I'm laying in bed (trying to get back to sleep usually), I turn the song on in my head and imagine dancing through all the bones that had those bb-sized tumors and hip-bumping or skip-kicking them out of my system.

Now, I've decided that I'm going to design an abstract mandala and color it. It will be called The Stray Cat Strut. I will post a picture when I'm done!

1 comment:

Wendy S. Harpham, MD said...

This imagery is great! Looking forward to seeing how the picture you put in a future post compares to what you painted in my mind.

Here's an article I wrote for doctors and nurses about visualization. hope you enjoy it.

with hope, Wendy