Diary Entry

“The Fourth Sign of the Zodiac”

Nancy K. Miller scan

I’m between scans again, or should I say still? The latest one left the oncologist and the pulmonologist frankly puzzled. Something new and strange had appeared on my lungs, but they were sure (so they said) the proliferation of ground glass densities did not represent cancer. What caused this hazy film was less clear. Let’s wait until the next scan. Three months. The next scan is scheduled for late September. Such is the strangeness of living with cancer. You live in a state of uncertainty, even when, as was the case this year, two previous scans were “good” (a. k. a. stable). A genius from cancerworld named this state scanxiety. It says it all.

Not all, of course. Mary Oliver’s “The Fourth Sign of the Zodiac” is a beautiful and hopeful poem, written after her lung cancer diagnosis, about what she calls, “the cancer visit.” (I’d reproduce it here, except for copyright restrictions.) But easily found online.

Nancy K. Miller. Diary

Welcome. Some musings on my current preoccupations with the worlds of illness and the worlds of books, the vicissitudes of living with cancer and the need now, in my eighties, to imagine what new writing might be. 

View Diary posts related to the My Multifocal Life project.