Take a number...Read Now
And onto the next day...
Back to the Cancer Clinic. Result time. Next steps time.
" Next please. " Said the nicest woman ever. Until she checks to see that i have not had my blood work done. " You have to have your blood taken before you can see the Dr." (look of shame from the line. My 4th visit and still a rookie.)
"Over there dear." Points grumpy Mc Grumpy pants without looking up. ( oh no sweetheart - we are gonna make nice here - i am going to be a lot and i want good care.)
"Ohhh" i Chuckled - "Mmmm that is funny - How did you know Dear is my last name. So bossy Doris." ( not her real name)
She looked up. Eye contact. Warm smile. "Over there Dear Kelly, and don"t forget to take a number."
"So that is what that is for. I was hoping for a nice Bagel. When you have cancer who cares about carbs."
Liza hauled me away and herded me towards the blood room. Which has a bakery style number dispenser right outside the open and i mean really open door. BARF. (Beetlejuice flashback - please let me be Thorndock)
Now as i have noted - i have but one fear. Having blood taken. I have never given it. I will never give it. It is mine i made it. Only i can spill it…. Oh god the room….. spinning canned music spinning
'….hello pretty pony i want to ride you next after i barf up all this cotton candy and popcorn….'
Wake up Kelly. Wake up. eyes wide shut. sans nicole. Deep breath in and and pry your lids over your head. So, there i was sitting in a giant green pleathery chair across from a grinning older fellow - in a filthy ball cap - fifty mission style - whom i can only place as the inspiration for "Out for a Rip are ya Bud"s grandfather."
His arm was tied off like a shipping line and his vein was bulging like a pregnant whale. He was quickly punctured, released, drained, cottoned and bent.
"You'll be alright kid." He grinned through a tooth. "Hey, Linda ( not her name) - giver 'er the big one!"
What little blood i had to give drained from my face and I went out cold. But not for long because 'Linda' in a millisecond had peeled me out of my sweater and was slapping the vein in my left arm with her right arm and and tying me up with a rubber tube with her right one.
What a pro. Knew i was scared shitless. Didn't care. Didn't let me be. Looked right into my eyes. Used a peds needle, drained 4 tubes in the time it took me to gasp " Hi.. sorry.."
"Now sit there and hold your arm up. Next time use Emla creme - ya think needles don't hurt? really? I used four tubes for this baby and two for this."
I looked up to see tattoos from Utah to Banff. Well not from there - they just took up that much real estate on her arms and legs.
I laughed weakly but I felt ok. Strangely brave that even she felt pain and too was afraid. Fear is the one thing we all have in common. And you can smell it. Taste it. As my gaze shifted from Linda to the other side of the room...
... in the big blue pleathery chair was the next - new - person. Next because there are too many of us and new like me in that she was all whites of her eyes terrified. But most importantly - nothing like me all all.
Because as common as fear is - it is uniquely our own.
Please don't be Next.
And never allow yourself to be a number.
Unless it it is for a really tasty bagel.
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