Hell No, I Won’t Wear a Gown

“Next time you have to see the doctor, do you want to wear a gown?”



“I don’t like those gowns. They are ugly and make me feel like I am sick. I like my magic scarf and it is easier.”

Yessirreebob. These days, I am standing my ground and giving people in the medical profession something to talk about.

Yes, I flashed the radiology doctor the day before. I have met Dr. W. A couple of times and we got on grand … discussed things other than cancer and radars.

I never wear the gown when I go in for treatment. I take my shirt off, have my magic scarf in hand, mostly to wave it around, and hop on the table where they shoot me full of X-rays.

I mean seriously, why waste my time and theirs changing into the gosh-awful gown.

They see breasts and penises and other body parts all day long. What is another one?

And what is the point of covering one,when the other just about matches it?

But back to flashing. I saw the door open and it just happened. I flashed him. I lifted up my top and said hello.

Dr. W. Cracked up and said, “That’s a first.”

I would hope so. I would hope I would set the standard.

He said, “I guess you are doing fine.”


Then we got onto it. Two humans, talking. We discussed a book he is reading, and that I will read. We discussed the treatment and then we each told a couple of stories. We talked about a couple of serious things. He said I had a great attitude. I pretty much agreed, but added that I am very fortunate. I am in good shape. I see people who are struggling, and that isn’t lost on me. But I am in good stead right now, so I will take this grace and be of good cheer.

I figured word might get around that I had flashed the doctor.

I may be wrong, but that is probably why the girl mentioned the gown. (She is also the most serious of the technicians and doesn’t laugh) But dear, this is my parade and I will twirl my own baton and march to my own tuba.

Now, about those gowns …

You know the ones. The sacks with flaps that are given to you to wear during doctor exams. Is there anything you put on that makes you feel so hideous? So vulnerable? So powerless?

I won’t wear them unless I am getting operated on.

Yep, I am amazing myself through this whole Cancerland traipse. I shall be seen and heard and there are somethings that I must left go … but there are some things that I will do on my own terms.

If there is a good reason for things, I will adhere, but when it is something random, like, this is the way it has always been done, eh … I might show you a better way, or at least the way that makes me feel decent.

And is that too much to ask? I don’t want to be seen in the hallway in one of those gowns … and you are. You change in the dressing room and then walk through the part where other people are waiting for their treatment.

Let me walk into that radiation treatment room, being me … not feeling diminished by circumstance or dress or convention.

Yes, I am learning more about myself .. my strength, my humanness, and making a few of my own rules.

My life is but a speck in time and place, but that doesn’t mean it is insignificant. I have to believe that my existence serves a purpose.


Aka … Flash


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