well, (thank God!) Clem has been groped and prodded by numerous doctors, sonogramed, and it seems he will be with me for the time being. with the liability so many health professionals must feel, it seems they will scarcely say anything definite, but the surgeon who ordered the ultrasound vaguely supposed Clem is a harmless fatty tumor (i know, gross). that was the best of all the options, though, so it will do. the most wonderful people in the whole experience were the sonogram techs and the radiologist (i guess it isn't a crime to be a radiologist and have a personality). they were all puzzled by the elusive, invisible Clem, but they said it didn't look like a hernia (certain surgery averted) and it wasn't a lymph gland (read: not cancer). phew. the radiologist (whose name was Dr. Rohren--curiously close to what i'm called in japan) went to grade school in japan when he was a child! so cool! he was the person who really made me feel reassured.
it was the first sonogram i'd ever had, and it was kind of exciting and oddly relaxing at the same time. the gel they put on my stomach was warm, and it was so weird to watch the hollow oceans and dark echoes of my guts. it really does look like deep underwater, with strands of light.
anyway, thank you so much! it looks as though i really will be able to return to japan on time, for which i am profoundly grateful. now i just have to wait for the medical bills to come flooding in.