Butterflies and Wads–a candid account for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Posting until a cure is found….

[Please note: this story provides graphic detail]

She stood in the mirror and examined herself, then pushed her palms under her curls to make sure her hair fell neatly above the baby blue paper blouse. She was ready for the day and had thought through what might follow. Her mind was clear—prepared for battle or victory—or so she thought. Her eyes darted around the room. It wasn’t what she would have pictured or preferred for this event, but it was what was to be. She stood confidently and breathed deeply—inhaling and exhaling in rhythm—as she slowed her mind and body in preparation.

Knock. Knock.
“Come in,” she said in a commanding tone.

“Hello. So…are you ready?” he said.

“It depends. How was your day?”

“Today has been a great day!” he said while looking her squarely in the eyes and positioning himself in the room.

“Well, I suppose that means I am ready… but only if your day has been good.”

“It has,” he said, peering at her with eyes alike Mexican Riviera waters.

He motioned for her. She sat and leaned back.

wpid-2013-10-09_13-34-33_746.jpgThe blinding light caused her to shift her eyes from him to the butterflies that hung from the ceiling—two red, two yellow, and one blue. Pretty, but it was the odd dark spot four feet out that captured and caught her attention.

Is that a dead bug hanging from its last thread on the ceiling tile, or a tiny wad of dust? How ridiculous that I would fixate on that, she thought.

She looked back at the still, suspended butterflies, but the peculiar wad drew her interest. An abrupt shift in thought led her to reassure him there would be effortless cooperation of her body.

He sat surprised and amused by her words.

Cold sensations followed by searing pain raced through her flesh and although she had prepared herself…she moaned. She felt his skin against hers and heard him speak, but paid little attention to his words. The fuzz on his arms would have made her cringe in another context—they barely knew one another—but here it brushed her as soothing words of a kindred spirit.

The wad.

She permitted this man to invade her like no other. There was something special about how he had stood to her intellect and will; he had not defied them, but respected them and gently responded to her verbal thrusts. It was in the sport of verbal fencing that she had come to trust him. He was strong, confident, not too egotistical or authoritative, or weak. Now she wished she could look into his eyes–they had reassured her about this day, but were now focused on her flesh.

Time passed.
She could feel the effort.
Too much time passed.
He was surprised to see she sometimes watched.

The depth of his focus was silencing. She longed to chide in with witty words or questions, but his mark was in sight and she didn’t want to get in his way… or breathe too deeply.

He sensed a problem, asked her if there was pain, and before she could utter words her body told him all that was necessary. He extended comfort—a slight needle pinch—and continued.

Time lingered past her patience and expectations. He admitted the hurdle before him—he would have to reach deeper within. She felt the pulls and tugs of his insistence, but no pain, only determination. The duration caused her to become tense. She concentrated on relaxing and released her curled toes—it was the only way she could help.

The familiar sound of a haircut echoed, but it was not the matter at hand. They chuckled. Tension eased. Soon he showed her the adversary he had extracted from within. Without thought, she joked about her mother.

“My mother always told me not to swallow my gum. Now I know where it went!”

They all laughed… at her words, her sense of humor, the similarities in appearances, and at the conquest. Finally, she had been freed of the tumor.

Over and over again, she studied what she would leave behind. Tugging resumed as the surgeon stitched, helping hands wiped her, and voices reassured.

He moved on to the next room and she learned the timing of their next battle call… and possibly her next journey.

monarch1 on chest nkd
A special visit from an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail!

Most women find the lumps within their own breasts and approach the discovery and battle with an unbelievable strength, attitude, and courage that is unique to their character and personality.

According to the latest health statistics, eighty percent of breast lumps are not cancerous tumors. Yet, breast cancer is the second leading cause of death of women in their middle years—mid 30’s – 50’s. As a result, women of all ages should be aware of breast health. Any pain, changes in size, shape or appearance should be investigated and communicated with a trusted doctor. Early detection through mammography or breast self-examination is key! Awareness saves lives!

This true story was written in honor of the beautiful and brave women (and men) who have battled breast cancer. May God bless you and keep you!


4 thoughts on “Butterflies and Wads–a candid account for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.”

  1. That was an incredible story!! I felt like I was in the chair. Keep on writing..that’s what writers do:) Great story, look forward to hearing more from the author!!

    1. Thank you for your encouragement, mt. It is my hope that more people will realize that this awful, deadly disease requires such bravery by the women who must face it. We need to support and encourage them…and find a cure!~Kerstin

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