“Here, put this gown on and leave it open in the front,” the nurse tells me. I take off my clothes and neatly fold them and put them on the chair in the room. I put my bra in between my pants and sweater so no one will see it. I don’t know why I always do that. I know they have seen bras before. The nurse said this will just feel like a strong prick and I will be finished and on my way soon. I like the picture of the meadow on the wall. “Are you ready,” the nurse asks. It’s cold … or is that fear shaking me from inside my body.
Oh my gosh! That didn’t feel like a strong prick. That didn’t feel like a hard pinch. That felt like a knife gouging my breast. It felt like someone took a knife held it over a fire then quickly jabbed the tip of it into my breast. I am lying on a table that has two holes in it for my breasts to fall through. I am in one of those dreadful gowns, the gowns they so love to put you in. I am lying face down with the doctor underneath the table. I am vulnerable. I am exposed. AND I’m not supposed to fuckin’ move! I am scared. Please don’t find anything. Please say it was nothing. Please be benign if it is cancer. Please. Please Lord.
Isn’t there a better gown? One that is soft. One that doesn’t scream “someone” else wore this. Is that “someone” ok? Is that “someone” still here, in this gown? Does this gown hold some of those other patients’ fears in its fibers? Why isn’t there a different gown? Why aren’t they done yet? Why do I have to try to be so strong? Why didn’t I let someone come with me? Why didn’t anyone insist on coming with me? Why didn’t my husband realize I needed him today.
I am alone…in this gown.