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Drain Pain

Another surgery, a “clean up” from reconstruction.But nothing will clean up the scars, dimpled and tight, jutting areas from my skin, sunken pits here and there.

So far my “clean up” is not the miracle I expected.  More incisions, more scars.  Some areas are better, some are worse, or seem worse to me.  My mom, ever hopeful, says it’s too early to consider what I see a permanent fail.

And yes, that picture is a bit disturbing.  But it catches my feelings perfectly. I am tired of tubes, this is my 5th one and I am sick of the discomfort, the proof of another surgery, the fluids collecting for anyone to see, the draining and measuring.  Yes, I should not mind it as a nurse, but as it is MY fluids I have a different perspective.  I am low, I have always had a cheerful attitude, a gratitude that life is possible; that I have a good job; that I have insurance; that active cancer is gone.  And my cheerfulness will come back, but I am tired, too tired to enjoy the holiday season.

I want to winterize and sleep like the animals that hibernate, hiding myself until the sweet warm winds of spring wake me up again.  But I dream, my reality is dealing with work, multiple medical conditions, kids, the holiday hectacism (ok, my own home made word).

And each of you in your own way have a tube that hangs from you, yanking you painfully to some place you don’t want to be.  So I think many can relate to this poem, either from your own experience or metaphorically.

Tubes jutting through my skin;

this surgical hallmark of pain

cuts through me sharp as a pin.

Body fluids flood out like rain,

variably lava swift then slow,

multicolored, blood-red stained.

Wait for less than 10 ml to flow;

changing to straw-like champagne.

Daily I empty the fluid filled bowl;

I squirt and measure again and again.

These little round wine-colored holes

are permanent, I’m marked like Cain

as my scarred story tells my pain.

While my spirit is sad and low,

I’m Hopeful this horror will gain

some restoration in my Body of Woe


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