I love you MRI for getting me out of the house! And into a parking garage. Keep this ticket.

I love you MRI for the metal detectors at the hospital main entrance. It’s like a pre-screen for the MRI.

I love you MRI for your location in the radiology suite, next to the trauma rooms, behind the Emergency Department. Sorry about everyone else at the fancy imaging centers with a boring “waiting room.”

I love you MRI for the IVs. If my doc didn’t order perfusion, we could use a smaller needle. Fuck that! We haven’t blown a vein in at least six months.

I love you MRI for the double gown pro tip: One gown like an apron, one gown like a robe, that’s double coverage!

I love you MRI for making me think twice about creating more work for environmental services, resulting from the double gown pro tip. Now I’m not sure I should do this.

I love you MRI for my pale, hairy legs, with weird looking shins from years of slamming my legs into ledges, grind rails, and mini-quarter pipes; now I can’t even balance standing still on a skateboard. What can ya do?! I’ve got brain cancer.

I love you MRI for the yellow, squishy ear plugs that you give me to place just before you give me headphones for music, then you ask how’s the sound?, and I say, I’m wearing ear plugs.

I love you MRI for the weird porthole thing in the MRI tube that we can look through to see our feet and that small room where all of you are gathered, pressing a keyboard, looking at monitors, and are those your coats in there? And lunch boxes? This is like your office? Is it weird to scan people all day? Can you actually see the computer render images of my brain in real time? Can you tell me what it looks like? Blink twice if this scan looks stable.

I love you MRI for the selfie I take with my spouse so that we have a record of this life, an artifact, a document, a piece of evidence, exhibit A, to submit on the people’s behalf to argue that we have some control in this life that feels otherwise totally out of our control.

adam hayden glioblastom brain cancer mri

Brain cancer (glioblastoma) blogger Adam Hayden and his beloved MRI selfies

I love you MRI for the uninterrupted time for breath work while inside the machine.

I love you MRI because one of these scans will show anomaly, or growth, or lesion, or venous malformation, or hemorrhaging, or something that reminds us our lives our fragile and finite, and even in moments when the world is falling down around us, we’re actually the privileged ones to be forced to face our mortality, then face it again, and again, and another scan, and we’re living at the border lines of our own survival, and when supported with the right relationships, we are privileged to find wellbeing in serious illness.

I love you MRI for the pastrami on rye that I get from the nearby deli afterwards.

I love you MRI for the uncontrollable sobbing that happens at my desk the day before an MRI, while compiling boring reports, and maybe that sounds terrible to you, but for me, it reminds me that I’m present in this moment now, and I am both the tears on my cheeks and the smile on my lips because we are not one dimensional.

I love you MRI because your beats are the soundtrack to my life, and I can carry a tune wherever I go.

I love you MRI because those computer generated images of my brain show residual tumor in granular detail, but they don’t render my sense of self, because who I am is bigger than the tumor in my head. I’m the double covered, hairy legs, earplugged, sobbing optimist, and excuse me while I belly breathe my way through this 50 minute scan. Now let’s get going, I have a deli to get to.

This post originally appeared October 31 2023, on Glioblastology. It is republished with permission.