That Elusive Cure 7
By lisa h
The metal was cool to the touch and nothing happened for a few seconds. I half expected Janie to break out in laughter, telling me I was a fool, of course this is a hoax. But then the lid began to slowly close. A moment of panic hit me, my heart fluttering in my chest, my belly full of the collywobbles. I was about to be sealed in a fancy-looking coffin, was I insane to agree to this?
Then a voice spoke. The voice was female. She spoke softly, reassuringly. “Please place your hand by your side.”
My palm was still on that metal panel. Obediently, I lowered my arm and felt the foam half envelope the limb, like it had the rest of my body. The lid was halfway closed now. Janie stared in, watching until the lid closed all the way and I was sealed in.
Inside the pod was more roomy than an MRI scanner, but only marginally. There was the same feeling of being straightjacketed in. If something went wrong how would I get out? Would Janie hear me shouting from the other side? How soundproofed was the pod? My stomach lurched and then I knew it, I’d vomit and asphyxiate on my lunch because the foam wouldn’t let me turn my head. These were my final moments.
Then the machine spoke again. “Heart and blood pressure raised. Antidote being administered.”
What on earth did that mean? I hardly had time to worry. A sense of calm washed through me, the nausea disappeared and I couldn’t hear my heartbeat thrumming in my chest any more.
The soft words of the woman relaxed me further. Could you build in subliminal messages into the speech? I kept my eyes closed, not wanting to restart the claustrophobic panic and tried to figure out if I could feel the machine doing anything to me.
What would she find, I wondered. More than I already knew about?
“Eighteen tumours found in the liver ranging from 2mm to 36mm along with five seed tumours. Three tumours found in the left lung, two in the right, one seed tumour in the right lung.”
Well that was the right amount of tumours, but the idea of seed tumours was new to me, and I found the information chilling. The machine started to talk again.
“Five sessions recommended. Four to fix cancer sites. One to reverse the stoma.”
My eyes flashed open. Reverse the stoma? The bane of my life? Having cancer was bad enough, but the stupid stoma was like adding insult to injury. My docs had said it wouldn’t get reversed until they fixed the cancer, and with every scan that dream faded further. The lid of the pod didn’t seem so close now, my reflection fuzzy in the brushed metal surface above me, an image of a sedate version of me that didn’t show the anticipation building inside.
“Begin session?” The voice asked me, and I realised I needed to respond.
“Yes…” My voice choked, the word coming out too quiet. “Yes.” I repeated, this time with more confidence. This was it, this was my time, my luck, my lottery win. I had doubted Janie, dismissed the machine as madness, but here I was, encased in a magic pod expecting to be cancer free when a week ago I was planning my pre-funeral. A hum built up under me, a kind of vibration that started at my toes and worked softly up my body. As I closed my eyes my last thought was, this best be real.