This must be what it feels like to be abducted by aliens

by Janie Jones

Today is my last scheduled radiation treatment.  I’m pretty deliriously happy about that.  Overall, the experience has been fairly non eventful; the driving and the expense being the main stressors and side effects.  However, a strange thing did happen to me last week which was both embarrassing and more than a bit distressing.

Leif and I were doing a spot of grocery shopping, and we decided to go to the drug store to buy milk as it is usually at least a dollar cheaper and it’s right across the street from the main grocery store so it’s not even out of our way.  He dropped me off at the door and pulled around to find a parking space while I ran in to get the milk.  I quickly made my way to the refrigerated cases where the milk is shelved, grabbed a gallon and hurried back up front.

Are you with me so far?

As I approached the cashier I remember seeing a display of baked goods and then I stepped off the curb and spotted Leif’s jeep.  I thought, “Wow.  He’ll be impressed, I think that’s the fastest I’ve ever gotten in and out of there.”  Then something in my brain clicked and I literally stopped in the middle of the parking lot.  I stood there, oblivious to anything but my own dismay, while neurons were spastically attempting to navigate an unexpected detour in their normal thought super-highway grey matter transit system and find their way back on track.  In layman’s terms, I stood there in shock at the realization that I didn’t remember any of the last few minutes since walking past the bakery display to stepping off the curb.  How did I get here?  Who checked me out.  Did I get a receipt?  How did I pay?  Did I use cash?

“Holy crap!  I didn’t pay for my milk!”  Once the neurons were properly re-routed I realized in a panic that I just walked right past the cashier and out of the store without paying but I have absolutely no memory of that few minutes.  No.  Memory.  At.  All.

While still slightly in panic mode, I abruptly about faced and all but ran back into the store, my Swiss Cheese resembling brain frantically trying to think of an excuse in case I should run into a store employee calling “Theif!” while I was on my way back in.

Inside the store there was only one employee in sight.  A young man was  at the cash register and he was busily ringing up a lady who looked like she was buying one of everything plus a spare.  Trying to look nonchalant I moved into queue behind her and avoided all eye contact.  When she finally moved on I paid for my milk and left, without further incident and blessedly with nary a shoplifting accusation.

I would like to blame this gap in my mind on the radiation.  But then, that’s still really embarrassing and scary.  Who wants to admit that they are having parts of their memory go missing, even just a few minutes and even if there’s a logical medical excuse.  Admitting that makes my subconscious beg the question, what else are you missing from your memory?  I sincerely hope there aren’t moments of fugue wherein I won the lottery or robbed a bank.  Because it would really suck not to remember I was suddenly rich.

Perhaps it would be more comforting to suggest a reason that had nothing to do with my mind decomposing.  After all, there could have been a wormhole or a micro singularity in the drugstore and when I stepped through it it transported me from the bakery case to the parking lot.  It could happen.  It was after all a nearly regular event on board the various generations of the Enterprise.

Or I could blame it on aliens.  Which actually could make sense; they could be responsible for my tumor in the first place, and they are angry I’m getting rid of it.

Yeah.  Aliens.  It’s got to be aliens.  Somebody please pass me the tinfoil.


12 Comments to “This must be what it feels like to be abducted by aliens”

  1. How upsetting for you. Could it be a stress reaction? You HAVE had a lot on your plate.

    The thing now is not to stress about it; just concentrate on getting better.

    You haven’t mentioned your treatment much and I haven’t liked to bring it up; but as you just have, can I ask: is it going well? How are you doing?

  2. Thanks for your inquiry and your moral support. Actually, the therapy itself didn’t really bother me much. I think it was mainly all the driving. I’ve noted feeling rather tired and listless much of the last month as a result of one or the other, or even both. I only have had one outright meltdown which put me out for about 36 hours and it fell on a weekend so I was able to get a lot of rest without it interfering with “life.” I’ve had a few headaches, again, whether from the therapy or possibly from other things who knows, and they’ve been generally of short duration and managed well with a couple aspirin. Otherwise, I never lost any hair, and only suffered the occasional and very, very mild skin irritation so all in all I can’t complain. I really do feel lucky I did not have any worse symptoms. Now that’s it’s over I am looking forward to some real rest and relaxation for my remaining two weeks of summer before the spud returns and school resumes.

  3. I’m just glad the aliens didn’t take you when you were driving 🙂

  4. After some really traumatic times last summer, I realized that everyone with a lot of stress should have at least a half dozen CRS free passes. The things that distraction can do are almost mortifying.

  5. I’m trying to decide whether I have the courage to say “You do know you wrote exactly the same post yesterday, don’t you?”

    I’ve decided not to.

  6. Thanks everyone! It is a wonderful feeling to have so many people who care.

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