Cancer Treatment-The BeginningbyJaneAusten©
It's ten o'clock in the morning and already
a scorcher. Thankfully, the hospital is
I arrive on the second floor and walk
to the door marked with big red
letters you can't miss, 'chemotherapy'.
My hand tentatively wraps around
the knob and I hesitate before entering.
Pink leather recliners border the room
and the nurse beckons me to the third
chair on the left. I walk past Margaret
in her silly fishing hat and she nods
without a smile.
Tessa sits quietly running her fingers
through the blond curls on her youngest
boys' head while he holds her hand (his
way of helping).
And I'm always amazed to see
Miss Patricia (although why everyone
calls her that I don't know). She is
perfectly made up: lips lined and glossed
in a deep red, cheeks deeply blushed,
eyes covered with blue shadow, heavily
lined in black, and lashes coated
thick with mascara. Gold earrings
dangle beneath the silk
scarf tied stylishly around her head.
She brings glamor into our cancer room.
I am the new girl;
unsure, frightened, and welcomed
by friends I've only known for a week.
I take my chair and Julie swabs
my arm with alcohol.
Tessa's little boy looks on as the IV
needle goes into my arm. He is horrified
but smiles for my benefit. A remarkable
child. Fluid pushes through the tubes
into my veins as I recline and open a
magazine. I am far from alone with this family
in the room and the strength of your hand
covering mine. I know you are with
me even if you are not here.
For a moment I close my eyes and feel
the tugging of small fingers at my hand.
Little David places a peppermint into my
palm. 'It helps my Mommy's tummy', he
says. Such is the love of this six-year-old.
I touch his curls and know why his mother
strokes so lovingly. He returns to his
mother's side and I let my head fall back