Picture Story

    I am laying flat on my back. The Iodine feels cold and slippery. I can smell it. The lights above me are bright. I close my eyes, not because the lights are bright, but because I cannot watch what is going to be done to my body.
    My arms are folded over my stomach, and the doctor’s assistant holds them down.  For a moment I wonder why she is doing this, until I feel the first needle go into my right breast. I feel my arms instinctually lift to go to the pain, even as I am telling myself to be still. I am breathing deeply. Now comes another needle, then another, and finally, the last one. The pain is pinching, then burning.                
    Then I hear the clanging of metal instruments. I think for a moment of a car mechanic, then of the dentist. Both images are not helpful. I hold my eyes closed even tighter, not wanting to risk them accidentally opening and witnessing this. Then I feel a tugging on my skin. I believe this is his scalpel cutting my skin. This goes on for a while. Then the doctor asks the assistant for something with a technical name. I think stitches. Yes, that is the right guess. I feel more tugging. I feel and hear him wipe away the area several times. I think he is wiping blood away to see where he is stitching. This guess comes from my viewership of Real Life ER on the learning channel. I feel very hot and want this to be over. I say nothing as I concentrate on not crying.
    Moments earlier I waited to see the doctor in an examining room full of informational literature decorating the walls. I paced the room in my nervous state of mind, going from poster to poster as I clutched the front of my cloth johnny closed.
    The stages of breast cancer, complete with drawn illustrations, with the ending of that picture story being the little red blobs representing cancer in the woman’s brain, bones, and organs.
    Next was suggestions for quelling nausea caused by chemotherapy; eat frequent small meals, drink liquids separate from meals, sip on mint tea.
    Next, a list of Breast Cancer Support Groups. Bosom Buddies meets monthly, with telephone number and location listed.
     Next is a piece for caregivers; the importance of taking time for yourself, eating well, exercising, getting adequate sleep.
     I got more and more anxious as I waited for the doctor to be ready for me, to finish with his other patients. The exam was very quick, especially compared to the wait in that room. Yes, he would need to do a biopsy. Yes, they were looking to rule out cancer. Did I want to reschedule and have the procedure done in the OR, or shall we do it today with a local. Well let’s keep this moving. Holding onto stress is not my forte.
   So now I’m hot and wanting to be done with this. As though having read my mind, the doctor removes the paper barrier used to keep things sterile, crumpling it into a ball, so says my ears, as my eyes still remain closed.  
   It is over the next few days that I allow my thoughts to go beyond this moment in time. I am at a fork in the road. This will be the beginning of a journey, a journey still to be revealed. The wait for the reveal, agonizing and timeless. I am left wondering and wondering what the ending of my picture story will be.

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About robin swetz

I am a creative writer that enjoys the simple things in life. I really connect with humor and really like making observations and writing about them with an overlay of humor. Its what makes my world go around.,
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