19 Feb Dave Kelly Getting a CT Scan With Jim Button
Jim Button and I have spent some time in a tub together. Not a hot tub, although Jim likes it hot, but actually the tub in Jim’s house. Thank you Tracey.
We did it because we wanted to talk about cancer in a way that wasn’t the normal way for two grown men to talk about cancer. We didn’t want it to be too serious or heavy, we wanted it to have a sense of humor, and we wanted Jim to feel comfortable.
So what’s the second act to that?
We went to where Jim spends a lot of his time. We thought we’d talk to Jim in a place where many cancer folks are familiar with.
Getting a CT scan.
We called our friends at EFW Radiology and asked them if I could interview Jim in a CT Scan machine.
“Uhhh…. what?” asked Scott.
“Can I come and interview Jim in the CT scan machine?”
“Like, in the waiting room?”
“No,” I said, “In the machine.”
Which is how we found ourselves standing in the radiology room at EFW, talking with Scott, Darlene (the tech), and Jim.
“Now, this isn’t a comfortable place for most people,” said Jim.
“Why?” I asked.
“First of all, it’s kinda claustrophobic, noisy, and is a machine that decides your fate. Being alone in the machine makes you realize how vulnerable you are and, in an isolated space, you can overthink your fate. That and the IV contrast dye makes you feel like you are peeing your pants.”
Darlene, the tech from EFW added:
“A lot of people feel they have to be strong for their family, so they hold it together while family can see them, but once they are in this room, alone with this machine, the tears often flow.”
We also found out that a CT scan machine is mostly used for only one person at a time. Not just because the results are easier to figure out – but because it gets a little crowded in there.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
People have asked me about Jim Button and the goofy stuff we do – the way we laugh a lot, and how that plays into his life.
“Like a lot of things that are important to Jim,” I say, “It’s about other people.”
I’ll let Jim explain.
“Too many people live with pain and despair all by themselves. Many people, especially in North America, have a real fear of sickness, disease and death. They cannot talk about it, look at it or deal with it in a healthy manner.
“When someone gets a terminal diagnosis, or any scary diagnosis for that matter, they have no experience with facing the prognosis in a positive manner. So quite often they go inwards and fight the disease in solitude. They won’t share their challenges and they won’t ask for help.
“That makes me sad to see, so I’ve made it my mission to normalize the idea of disease, dying, and death. I want to make it normal and comfortable to talk about. So I started a blog (gatherwithjim.com), I’ve done speeches, Ted talks, etc., all in an effort to help people become more comfortable with their own journeys.”
And that’s why I had to ask him a few questions, in a place that is hard to be mindful, but somehow, Jim manages.
Here is Jim’s Mindfulness Moment – brought to you by our friends at EFW Radiology.