Late last month I found a lump in one of my breasts. I had scans, a mammogram then a small biopsy. My final results were good and I was given the all clear. I am not one to want attention when I am facing things like this. I am more inclined to go quiet and not mention it to many people. Cancer is a part of my family, in different ways, but today it is not part of me.
I have a pair of boots. With sturdy, stacked heels that announce I am walking. They hold me high. They make me brave.
The need for brave boots has been higher than usual of late. Lumps and scans and biopsies do that to the brave boot owner.
Spending time topless save for a threadbare hospital gown seems easier when brave boots are still firmly on. Secreting away and keeping warm my winged feet.
Click-clacky heels on hospital linoleum makes solid sounds. I am here. I am here. I am here, they say.
Brave boots make me almost eye level with sonographers.
Brave boots make me feel not so small outside and in. If my boots can be brave and loud on the floor, I can be brave too.
It’s a funny thing to sit in a waiting room chair with other women, bare breasted save our white gowns. Carrying plastic baskets of top half belongings. I kept wanting to chat, and make silly comments like I wore my best bra today. Or the inappropriate weather’s bit nipply.
But I didn’t. I’m not sure everyone jokes when they are nervous.
The second visit was easier. I was ready to wander corridors with my top half clad only in a gown. But I kept my brave boots on.
I laughed when I had to sign the permission form. I was topless. It was funny. I’ve never signed a form with my breasts exposed before. I may never again. This may have been my one and only chance to sign my name topless.
I wanted to tell them the needles didn’t scare me, it’s the wait for results that does.
I wanted to tell them hospitals always make me teary, even if I’m there for a good reason. Like visiting a new baby.
I wanted to say there were no ghosts there, which was strange, and ask them where they had gone.
But I didn’t. I lay on my back and listened to the nurse whose sole job it was to hold my hand and talk to me. Whose job it was to sit with me afterwards and offer me a cup of tea. I thought of her calm voice asking me her well used questions. I felt the stroke of her hand on my arm and I knew I was alright.
Me and my brave boots. We would be alright. And we were. We are.