PET Scans and Super Powers

52 My Carry-On Stash

What do you pack for a PET Scan…

This is my Mary Poppin’s Bag for the two day journey for my 2nd PET Scan. Complete with my Super Power Cape, BRAVE DVD, The Hobbit, laptop, headphone, chocolate, journal, chocolate, playing cards…just a few of my favorite things.

I thought this scan would be easier…less stressful. I was wrong. The staff were amazing, but there’s just something about liquid housed in a steel casing with a needle on the end that I find unsettling. They did have a monitor in the room where I waited in case I needed anything while percolating. After an hour of the radioactive sugary goodness finding its way through my veins in search of cancer cells, my isolation was over and it was time for the scan. I laid down on the sleeve and she asked me to place my arms at my side. (Last time I held them above my head.)

I thought, This will be much more comfortable.

Then she pulled up two huge pieces of fabric and strapped me down. “To make sure my arms don’t slip off the sleeve.” Is this when I tell her how claustrophobic I am. The correct answer to that question is: YES! But, I decided to be brave.

As the tube sucked me inside its belly the first time she called out, “Close your eyes.” I did. And a bright flash went off. Then, it sucked me in further and further and it became darker and darker. I suddenly had the terrifying thought that this might be a closed tube. I hadn’t noticed when I walked into the room. My heart began to race, pounding in my chest, and I told myself to breath…now. There I was strapped to the sleeve, inside a dark, tiny tube, a mole-hole as it were. A cave, a tunnel…are there spiders in here?

WAIT A MINUTE! I regained control of my thoughts just in time and the sleeve exited the tube. But only for a moment, then back in I went, but this time not so far, and I opened my eyes and saw that it wasn’t so tiny after all…and there was light coming through the other end. AN OPENING!! YAY!!

For the remainder of the time, my heart began to regain some semblance of a proper rhythm, and I began to pray for my sweet family. Hey, I decided nuclear powered prayers must be quite strong. Why not take advantage of my new super power.

I don’t know much about physics, I have degrees in Social Work and English, but I like to imagine I am somehow connected to the same matter that powers the stars. I do love star gazing. (I also went in the restroom and turned out the lights to see if I glowed. I didn’t.)

I’m now seated comfortably on the bed at my in-laws waiting for my new super power or powers to reveal themselves. You’ll be the first to know when they appear. What would your super power be if you could choose? I’d fly…with the option of being invisible.

Prague: Medieval Magic and Majesty


40 Charles Bridge Prague Night

(Walking across the Charles Bridge.)

One of my favorite European cities is Prague, Czech Republic…

I love standing in the center of the Charles Bridge at night with smoke rising from the rooftop stacks and mist hanging heavy in the air. Medieval spires pierce the darkness evoking a sense of magic and mystery to the night. I imagine the yellow light cast upon the rooftops to be from oil lamps. Is there any wonder, Prague has been the setting of cryptic legends and espionage through the ages?

41 Lennon Wall Eye

(John Lennon Peace Wall near Charles Bridge, Prague)

It’s also a city of love with the hope of peace. The John Lennon Peace Wall located at Mala Strana across from the French Embassy is a symbol of this sentiment. It is ever changing, a living work of art and personal expression. It began during the 1980s, when Czech youth covered the wall with lyrics of peace and freedom from Lennon’s music. They also wrote anti-communist words of protest. It became a war for freedom of speech in a time and place where there was none. The authorities would white-wash the wall only to find it full the following day. The Velvet Revolution brought about freedom for the Czech people…and the graffiti continued with words of love and peace. Check it out and leave your own message.

42 Me and Jim Kissing at Lennon Wall

(Jim and I making our magic.)

Or if you’re fortunate, you’ll share the experience of this awesome place with someone you love. I did!

Amelie: From Castle to Cottage

39 Kaysersberg Chateau Tower Roof View

(Castle tower in Kaysersberg, Alsace, France.)

When a character introduces herself…

Following my last trip to Kaysersberg, I began researching names from the region. I wrote out a list, mostly from the Middle Ages. As I began to read each name aloud a character began to form, with a story to follow. My Alsatian Tale is taking shape. No doubt, it will shift several times before finally settling on the printed page.

But for now, she has a name…my heroine. Amelie. Her life began, as is fitting for this fairy tale, in a castle. But as fate would have it, at fifteen, she  finds herself living in a small village, in an even smaller cottage.

Life in a castle may appear charming, but for Amelie it is among the timbered houses and along cobblestone streets that the real story begins.