poured out before bed
“Congratulations! You’ve done so well, I’m so pleased you’ve made it through your treatments and done so beautifully!”
Mrs. Jones smiles faintly. “When can I come back for a check up?”
“Well, I’ll want to see you in a month, and Dr. Chemo and Dr. Lumpectomy will also want to see you around the same time. Of course, if something comes up and you need to see us earlier, you just give a call. After that, we’ll schedule it so one of us sees you and does a breast exam every 3-6 months for quite a while. We’ll make next months appointment before you leave today and the breast care center coordinators will be contacting you to help set up your long term schedule. Forgive me a moment as I enter orders so all of that is in the system by the time you hit the check out desk.”
Mrs. Jones fiddles with her gown, her wedding ring, her purse handle as Dr. Ductal puts in orders for labs and follow-up. Her paperwork soon done, Dr. Ductal turns to the quiet woman and seeks her gaze.
“Mrs. Jones, you’ve finished a very tough treatment course, and you should be happy with how well it’s all gone, proud of how well you’ve done. But you seem a bit upset today… Please help me to answer the questions you have.”
Mrs, Jones looks down at her hands, flicks the clasp on her watch.
“I do feel lucky that it’s all over with, yes. But…how do I ever know the cancer’s really gone?”