Tuesday, May 13, 2008

east and west

I went to see Dr. Wang yesterday, who listened to my story and stuck pins in my face and hands for ten minutes before doling out large packs of herbs and roots that have to be slowly cooked together for half an hour each day, strained, chilled and drunk. I have to go back in ten days for more pins and some eye of newt.

On the bus to Homolka this morning, I sat next to a couple of strapping, Campbell soup Utah Mormons who interrupted my reading of The Amber Spyglass (atheist children’s lit) with their spiel in Czech. I told them that I’d heard it all before, thanks, and was more interested in my book, thanks. But then I felt bad.

I’ve seen these guys in every country I’ve lived in and they always speak the local language at a surprisingly high level, are incredibly polite and friendly, clean (almost shiny), well-dressed and inevitably look like a rosy-cheeked Norman Rockwell tableau. They are the only people (except for tourists) who actually smile on public transportation.

Compared with the rest of the trash we get here, the Mormons are the cream of the crop. If I’m willing to give the stinking-drunk british stag party directions to the nearest brothel, there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be polite to these misguided cherubs. So I gave them the aforementioned compliments, but told them I still wasn’t interested in their ‘message’.

Unfortunately, the bus ride is far too long for just small talk, so the conversation eventually turned to cancer. “I can’t possibly know how you feel,” said Elder Something, “but there’s one guy who can! – Jesus Christ.” I replied: “No. You can’t possibly know how I feel; but there are millions who do and are more easily accessible. I’m more concerned with living right now than with afterlife preparations, thanks.” They were nice, I wished them luck and we parted on the best of terms.

My appointment with Dr. Klener went very well. He agreed with my interpretation of the MRI and added, “If you didn’t know where and what to look for, you couldn’t tell you had an operation.” I’ll be starting med school in the fall.

Although there was no further brain metastasis, the MRI apparently showed some sinusitis that I wasn’t aware I had. No follow-up visit scheduled, but I have a PET scan (the nuclear moment of truth) there next Wednesday.

My friends, Sonya, Liz and Henny, are coming to Prague this week and when the four of us get together, you’d better look out! I’m exhausted after mikeFEST™, but it looks like no rest for the wicked. I should have listened to the Mormons...


Liz said...

Quite right! We'll be draining you of every last drop you have to give, Mike G. It's a spiritual thing - you know, how giving makes you stronger? Speaking of which: what do you want from my country? (Hand luggage only, mind.)
Looking forward to tormenting you with all manner of wasps and pinchings.
Liz xxx

Pamela said...

My mom says you should be taking coQ-10 supplements. I have no idea what those are, but she has had a lot of pre-skin cancer basel cells removed and takes this. She says it's been shown in studies that people with skin cancer have low levels of coQ-10 in their bodies and when they get cured, those levels are up again. She says she doesn't know how it works, but ask your doctor about it.

Anonymous said...

My pal Alson has a healer that she wanted you to see but I never sent you the info but now that you are opening the gate to pins and herbs I will email you his contact #s in Prague. Ann

Jake Doyle said...

That's great that you are sympathetic to the Mormon missionaries, Mike. Please talk with them some more the next chance you get. While I never joined their church, I've been meeting with them for around a decade and - from time to time - attending their church with my wife and son. While the power of the spirit is universal, they've built a system to enable its strength through honesty, forbearance, sobriety, compassion, humility, patience, perception and perseverance. Yes, their theology can get a bit heavy handed at times, but old Jesus was a true social revolutionary, up there with Buddha and Rumi. It's possible to accept Mormons as people who want to be good and put their conviction into practice without judging them for trying to convert you. All the best, Mike!