Crossing the Line

by Margaret Passanisi

Margaret Passanisi-smOnce again I have crossed a line on my journey with cancer.  The results of my last PET/CT scan indicated more spots on my lung and the brain MRI showed four new lesions, three in one area of my brain and one in a different part.  However the latest PET/CT scan was what is known in medical circles as “clean” meaning no sign of cancer in the body.  Here is where the line shows up, right in the middle of the room.  I don’t vault over it, reeling with joy.  I approach it cautiously, not sure what to do, almost afraid to look at it.

What does it mean to be told you have cancer and three months later be told you don’t have cancer?  I am beginning to understand that crossing the line is about transforming your life so you can live in uncertainty. It is about learning to live moment by moment, hour by hour and day by day.  This school is unlike any other I have attended.

Bio: Maggie Passanisi is a practicing psychotherapist in San Francisco who has been helping people with the many and varied symptoms of trauma in their lives.  She was diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer in July, 2010.  In an attempt to deal with the trauma of her own diagnosis she returned to writing after more than a ten year hiatus through the Markstein Cancer Center’s program to relieve stress and promote healing.