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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Appointment (02/09/12)

TITLE: Secrets at the Clinic
By Linda Germain


“You’re count is low,” they told her at the treatment place across the bridge and down the road from where she usually goes.
“Some magic juice of iron will fix you up and off you’ll fly as good as new and wonder why you felt so tired so long and didn’t say.”

A little scared but not inclined to disobey those folk who speak the truth from the depths of pristine coats we see in all the pictures of that sort and wearing standard issue flung around strong necks like pearls of wisdom waiting to be used.

She found herself padding down a hall, long and clean, to the very end where all the sticky things waited for her entrance, lying uninvolved near sterile bags on shelves ready to be grabbed like bullets when soldiers called to fight need them right away or they might die.

For just one flash she stopped and took a breath then forced herself across the threshold of a world so new to her, but not to them, and finally pushed on in and heard her name called by the sweetest lady oozing joy and waiting by a chair reserved for one.

The patient trembled from the cold, so they offered blankets from a toasty warmer and something hot to drink but she declined still not sure how things were going down at this wretched place filled with ashen faces staring back at her, until she heard,

“Hello, how are you?” and saw a happy fellow in a cap that had a name across the front but not his own she found out later as she watched amazed at how he drew little pictures on blank white paper while renewal medication dripped into his vein and he didn’t seem to mind.

Gingerly she sat waiting for the dreaded stick and hoping there would be no pain…there wasn’t much…and in a while she relaxed enough to hear a great surprise in the room, that arose from more than what was said in the loose and easy chatting.

The quiet talk had not one drop of implied or real complaint from heads who’d lost all hair (for now) but some was growing back in little curls which didn’t seem to matter as each one sat on royal thrones disguised as soft recliners swathed in warm and cozy covers.

The liquid flowing down the tubes and in her arm was a boost to help tired blood but not akin to the bags of therapeutic gold she saw across the way as she scanned each stranger’s face for any sadness but found none at all…only HOPE.

A mysterious glow seemed to play across the stage on which she found herself pondering the convergence of her time and theirs as they met together for an ordered potion designed to give each one strength and to some to stop a life from ending way too soon.

As the staff ran back and forth like jugglers keeping plates up in the air without dropping even one she espied a little cross engraved above some praying hands on a plaque, on the wall, in a corner and bowed her head to reflect upon her own.

After longer than she wanted it to be they set her free and wrote her name on a sheet in an official book to come next Thursday for the second time…and then eight more to make the posse cells stay around to keep her going strong until the time she’s called to go on through without reserve.

Many things happened on a day she thought would bring her down as shaking and unsure she stepped into an unfamiliar place but took a chance to trust and then faced plenty others worse than she who smiled and sat like heroes while they took their bitter medicine.

With fresh perspective on this new deal she’s looking forward to next week, and also after that.

Based on the truth of today when my mother began one of ten weekly visits to the Hematologist for some I.V. therapy for a benign low blood count; a thing that can be fixed.

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This article has been read 305 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Allison Egley 02/17/12
This is good.

This felt a bit choppy to me, but perhaps that was intentional, due to the MC's situation?

I liked the part about the man with the name on his hat that wasn't his. :)
C D Swanson 02/19/12
Excellent job of describing the "patients going through chemo." Their faces "filled with hope" - touched me so much. I have seen many friends go through chemo, some have lost the battle, some have won. But, the whole time they smiled knowing they were never alone, God was with them all.

I am so glad your mom's condition is "benign" and treatable. Great job, and on topic all the way.

God Bless you and your mom~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/23/12
Congratulations for ranking 13th in level 4 and 18th overall!

Wow what an awesome job of describing a chemo clinic and what it must feel like the first time. You also did an outstanding job describing hope, something I often struggle with but could feel it in every word here.