“Blood pressure?” A gruff male voice called in between the monotonous beeping of the heartrate monitor.

  “118 over 78” A delicate female voice responds. An approving groan was heard from the first voice, and I then became aware of a sharp pain. It feels like someone is carving into my chest. What the hell is going on? Where am I?

  The repetitive beeping begins to increase in frequency.

  “Rising…” The same female voice states.

  “Just one more second here…” The male voice replies. I feel needles in my side, like someone cutting into my abdomen with a meat cleaver. The pain is immense and I want to scream, but I can’t. My voice won’t respond, none of body will. Even my eyes refuse to open.

  “Ahh there we go…” The male voice stated. I feel cold latex hands pull something from within my lower left side. It felt like a small water balloon of membranous fibers and had a sloppy gelatinous feeling to it.

  Now I remember. I’m in surgery, for a process the doctor called a radical nephrectomy. I have cancer in my kidney, but why am I awake? A few moments pass with the sounds of shuffling and clanging of metal utensils on trays.

  “Alright, let’s get him sealed back up.” The male voice states. I then feel another pressure on the same spot on my side. I feel the repetitive puncture of my skin and subsequent threading of twine between each. My skin is slowly stretched shut, and all the while the pain is maddening to endure.

  The doctor finishes sealing the wound and takes a deep breath. Silence passes for a moment, as several other sets of hands pass over me. Meager conversations are heard in the background from several others of both male and female origin. I begin to somewhat relax as the pain subsides, knowing that my trial is nearing an end.

  “Alright, let’s extract the other one. Nurse?” The doctor states. Other one? No, this procedure was only meant for the single kidney, why are they taking the other one? Let me out!

  The beeping of the heartrate monitor begins to climb as panic sets in.

  “Nurse get me 500 milligrams of phentolamine.” The surgeon commands. Seconds later I feel a lethargy descend upon me. My thoughts and reactions become severely dulled, and even in my paralyzed state I can notice a difference in cognitive ability.

  “Dialyzer prepped?” The surgeon asks.

  “Yes doctor.” Another female voice responds.

  I can do nothing as the surgeon cuts into my right side and begins trimming back the tissue and flesh. I silently endure several minutes of agony before I feel a similar sensation as the kidney is removed. The beeping increases yet again as the wet organ is removed. I begin to relax as again the doctor sews up my exposed flesh.

  He removes his hands and sighs.

  “Scalpel.” He orders. Wait, why does he need that?

  “Now for the heart.”