Cancer Treatment-Part TwobyJaneAusten©
I spent the rest of that day with an undesirable
porcelain companion and was back in the clubhouse
(a name we so dubbed our cancer treatment room)
by ten o'clock the next morning. The same four
club members were in the room. Little David
was showing Tessa pictures from his book, Margaret
was resting her head back on the recliner with closed-
eyes, and Miss Patricia was flipping through a magazine
looking as glamorous as always in vibrant colors
and wildly-patterned fabrics. Metal bangle bracelets
covered the lower part of both of her arms in bright
and shocking shades of pink, purple, green, orange,
and yellow. They made a certain sound that may have
annoyed others, but for the club members, it soothed
like a sweet song. We enjoyed the sound like tiny
tinkling bells on a Christmas morning.
My nurse, Rachelle, was prepping my hand for the I.V.
when little David came to my side. He didn’t speak.
He stood with one foot on top of the other as cute as
could be and patted my other hand when the needle
went in. That small child is truly a gift. He stretched
up onto his tiptoes and kissed me on the cheek.
Then he reached deep into his pocket and pulled out
a wrapped peppermint and handed it to me.
“For later”, he said, and ran back to his Mom.
Tessa watched with pride.
I looked over and noticed Miss Patricia wince
in pain and grip the arm of her chair. She
closed her magazine and the bangles stopped
making their music. The three of us looked
at each other as she closed her eyes and rested.
On her way out, Margaret gently squeezed Patricia’s
hand. She nodded but never opened her eyes. She
was in a bad way. No one spoke after that.
When I was done, I popped the peppermint
in my mouth and walked over to Tessa and
tousled David’s golden curls. They both smiled.
I went home and took a long, hot shower and washed
my hair. Tears poured as handfuls clung to my open palms.
After that, I indulged in a glass of ginger ale for dinner
and cried long into the night.