Digital print based on a photo of the isolation room I stayed in for 5 days for my RAI treatment. May 2005. The blue is a chair, covered in blue plastic, so as to prevent my body from leaving radioactive traces of sweat and so on it. I put it in front of the room door, which had a window in it so that visitors/nurses/doctors could talk to me via the intercom system.
I read a quote by Susan Sontag the other day on illness that describes well how, in hindsight, I sat in that room. It says:
"Illness is the night-side of life, a more onerous citizenship. Everyone who is born holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and in the kingdom of the sick. Although we all prefer to use only the good passport, sooner or later each of us is obliged, at least for a spell, to identify ourselves as citizens of that other place."After that stay I was put on levothyroxine, for the rest of my life. Since I heard I may not be rid of all cancer tissue, I think about that past cancer trajectory again ... I wrote another poem a while back, about what exactly those meds mean for me.
Death would come quietly
If I weren’t to take my meds.
On my bed.
Vibrancy, death’s flip side:Each day I take my pill,
Refusing to let go of Life!
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