Hakan Öge
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Recife

Do you know that some doctors propose you to slice you open so they can fulfill their monetary greed? Somewhere in the back of my head I had the feeling these people existed, but to encounter one on is something I have absolutely not been prepared for… One did cross my path, just a few days ago actually, and the stiff neck I had just gotten rid of came back, with a revenge.

We went to see the estate of mister Brennand, a Brazilian artist influenced by Picasso, Miro, Gaudi and such... he has transformed his property in a cubist temple, filled the mansion with thousands of ceramic sculptures, created a garden of wonderland, and we strolled happily between his monumental work born from the depth of his imagination. That day we walked for hours like any other day, but we were in a very different environment, where peace and quite filled the air, huge butterflies flapping about, nature playing with art. We were filling our souls.

We walk back to town, buy some fruit and go back on board. I am about to fall asleep when I feel a huge lump in my breast. And I mean huge, easily the size of a big egg. Panic overflows me, straight away I see cancer attacking my body. I've had too close a look at cancer already, and now I see it attacking me, nausea strangling me, heat waves making me dizzy. Not me, not now. For years now I'm having a healthy life, mentally physically, it can't just come knocking on my door. Hakan is trying to calm me, I'm trying to calm me, tomorrow, maybe the egg will have disappeared, maybe i's nothing bad, we'll have it checked, first thing.

You're imagining right, the day is filled with waiting, and stressing, from one doctor with a weird smile to laboratories with strange equipment. My Portuguese goes from bad to rather good in no time, I understand everything that is being said to me, and they understand all I'm saying. It soon becomes clear that it isn't cancer, it is a hormonal liquid swell, actually it is getting smaller and smaller every time I check. The doctor that does the ultra-sound tells me that I can choose if I want the thing removed or not. And that I should have it drained only if it is bothering me, in the body or in the head. We go back to the first doctor, the one with the weird smile, her smile has gone stranger still. She tells us that the lump has to be removed, that it is huge, that an appointment needs to be made at the hospital. Hospital, for draining a lump? Yes she says, and total anesthesia as well as antibiotics and painkillers. I will leave the hospital the same day, very easy operation she says. I see her clearly with her knife in her hand cutting my skin, disfiguring my beautiful breast. No way I want total anesthesia, no way I will agree. I ask questions and depending on my phrase structure the answer varies. Dollars start flickering in her eyes, 4000 Reais (1500 Euro) she wants! You can buy a house here for that kind of money! I start getting really annoyed with this doctor in front of my eyes. We leave her after waiting for more than half an hour for the secretary to make a receipt for my medical insurance. We make pictures of the x-rays, pictures of the ultrasound, translate the results and e-mail it to my doctor in Belgium, who gives me instant reply, no need to drain the swell, only if it bothers me, it seems to be quite a common thing, no need to worry at all, and if I want it drained, in Belgium it would cost 50 euro!

Bodies cut for greed, what a scary thought! Where has her blade been wandering. What has she done to terrorized girls? I can't even let myself think about it.

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