I hate those paper exam gowns.
Not that almost everyone within three states hasn’t seen my boobies at this stage of my breast cancer. That’s not the point. Paper gowns are cold, undignified, flap open with a deep breath, and tear like wet kleenex.
In my life BC (before cancer), I had the opportunity to enthusiastically hate them only about once a year, at my annual show-and-tell exam. Now that I’m AD (after diagnosis), I have encountered the things more frequently.
The morning of the lumpectomy, the parade began in the radiology department with a needle localization of the tumor. The technician ushered me into a changing cubicle and handed me a paper gown. I’ve been to this department before, and have requested and been given a cloth gown, so with a smile, I asked for one. The technician had a tiny temper tantrum.
“No, this is all we have,” she said, to which I said, again with patience, “I’m sorry, this means a lot to me.”
And it did. I didn’t want to begin one of the most important days of my life wrapped up like a flank steak.
She flounced away and flounced back with a cloth gown that she’d obtained from a department down the hall, and probably because I refused to swap her tizzy for a tizzy of my own, she calmed down and turned into the soul of helpfulness. Which is a good thing in someone whose job it is to squash/squeeze/manipulate/yank upon one’s boob.
Fast forward three days. Amazon sells soft, comfortable, dignified patient gowns, and I bought a two-pack.
“Thanks, I brought my own.”