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This week’s post is a little different, but something I think all women of a certain age will relate to, so keep reading …

Nadia L. King was born in Dublin, Ireland, in the 1970s. Her first book “Jenna’s Truth” will be published this month by Aulexic and is a powerful tool to arm teens against bullying. Nadia is an over-excited person who adores words, reads voraciously, and writes short stories, amongst other things. She lives near the Swan River in Western Australia.

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You can read more of Nadia’s writing on her website, and find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Are My Boobs Guilty? 

 

It was winter and still I sweated buckets. Buckets brimming with fear. I tried to calm my mind and focus on my breath. Maybe it wasn’t calm that I needed, but more of a mind-numbing potion. Something to stop thoughts from whirring relentlessly through my brain.

I was at the radiological clinic for my annual bilateral breast ultrasound and possibly a mammogram if my ultrasound issued dodgy results. About four years ago, I’d had a scare and I’d never emotionally recovered so I could take these examinations with a pinch of salt. A teensy, tiny part of me was tensed, waiting for bad news.

In my cubicle, I undressed to the waist. My denim jacket, t-shirt and lacy bra lay discarded in a bright blue plastic basket. I battled innumerable armholes to dress myself in a light blue gown designed to provide modesty and access all in one garment.

I lay on a bed in a darkened room, gel smothered all over one breast and tried to pretend I was elsewhere while the sonographer pressed hard into my flesh. I avoided her gaze: I didn’t want to see bad news written across her face. My thoughts flitted to my dear friend Cathy who had died of breast cancer too young. I tried to banish all thoughts of my friend. Not now Cath. I still talk to her in my mind even though eight years have passed since she left her husband and children. Finally, I was released from the darkness.

Four of us sat in the waiting room. We sat quietly, eyes ahead. Studied casualness from me at least. Two televisions played in the room. They were supposed to distract us. One showed highlights from the Rio Olympics and the other showed talk show host Ellen dancing for her audience. I stared up at the ceiling and down at the floor. My eyes roved restlessly around the room.

The four of us waited for the little slip of paper—the paper that declares nothing to see, bill the patient and move them on. The other three were all cancer survivors. I wanted to hug them. Tell them how happy I was that these strangers, these women had all survived.

Finally, I was issued with a slip of paper. On it was the word mammogram with + and symbols next to the word. My symbol was circled. I was free to go.

I nodded to the lady twelve-years post-cancer and fist pumped the air.

‘Good girl!’ she said congratulating me.

Relieved, I stood up and was soon back in the privacy of my cubicle where I dressed again in my lacy bra, t-shirt and denim jacket. At the reception desk, I finalised my account. The twelve-years post-cancer lady emerged with her slip of paper and we both nodded and smiled. Understanding passed between us—we had cheated death for another day and now it was time to get back to living.

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Thank you to everyone who has sent in an essay and I’m now booked for the next four or five weeks. That gives you a few weeks to write something for this spot, which sounds like a long time, but if you’re anything like me, it’s not. So, you could start now and your words will have time to ‘breathe’ before sending. 🙂

The topic is what writing means to you but, as you can see from this essay, I’m not strict about it! About 600-1200 words is a good length and I offer a small gift as a thank you for your time.

Let me know if you’re interested via the ‘Contact‘ page above.

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(Published in the anthology, 'Jukebox', OOTA, 2013.)

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