My friend E called it the ‘world of pain’ and today, it was the busiest joint in town. Every seat was taken. Aside from A&E on a Saturday night, I’ve never seen a more bustling hospital department. Dad and I both agreed that the chemotherapy unit wasn’t what we were expecting.
Few patients looked ‘ill’. Some sat there chomping on Subways spilling with plastic ham as their chemo machines whirred and beeped (in an oddly comforting way). There were lively conversations taking place, newspapers pored over and smartphones pinging to life. And what a cross section of people, all so different, but with one thing in common – cancer.
‘It’s a nasty disease,’ whispered Sandra, a volunteer from Macmillan. It is and such a strange one too. The body literally turning in on itself.
I had anticipated an air of terror. A dark cloud of despondency, but the vibe was quite the opposite. ‘It’s a shame it’s so busy in here,’ said one relative. ‘It depends how you look at it,’ replied a smiley young nurse. ‘All these people are getting treatment that might cure them or buy them time.’ I liked her attitude and she had a lovely way about her, in fact, all the nurses did. Dad couldn’t be in better hands.
I was supposed to do some work today, but I left the house at 6.45am and didn’t get back until 4pm at which point, I had to take my whining daughters for a haircut. I have a stream of e-mails that need attending to, but now I am in holiday mode and wonder if I will ever feel driven again. Or perhaps that’s what half a day in chemo does to you. Oh well, tomorrow as they say, is another day…
I am an oasis of calm.