At the Cancer Center for treatment today, I had a sudden blast from the past.
But at a visible sign of illness (like KS lesions) or hospitalization (usually PCP) those friends, those happy times evaporated, were history. Never to be repeated. Friends and family vanished overnight. The very time when a person needed someone most was when he/she was deserted, essentially labelled DEAD already. And no one wanted to be a part of that messy time. Oh, the hospital stories I could tell…
This is what drew my attention today at the Cancer Center for the first time. I don’t know why I didn’t recognize it earlier, the ugliness is unmistakably there. Maybe I’m the only one to notice it. I saw a lot of it 25 years ago.
Many patients are my age and older, but there is a group of younger men and women dealing with the same, or worse, cancer diagnoses and treatments. Some who used to be transported by friends/family members now arrive by taxi, or assisted hospital van - alone.
Seems things never change. Folks are squeamish about the seriousness of the illness a friend or loved one is dealing with, and suddenly have other things to do. Sometimes they come back to pick up the patient, but only when called by nursing staff that all treatments are over for the day.
As usual, the patients buy into the excuses and denial wins the day. Very sad. Nothing for it, though. I try to chat with these patients about their current treatment and add my own experiences. It helps relax them a little. Like, we’re in this together and it’s OK to talk about it. Especially with the nursing staff.
Still, it makes me sad to see anyone tossed aside as if they’re lives were nothing. I’m already alone, so no need to suffer such indignities, myself.
We just keep plugging along. Laughter is the best therapy, and we do a lot of that when I’m around. At least until they drug me, that is. And sometimes that’s a good thing.
Besides, I’m still riding high on the energy from last Friday’s Happy Hour shindig.
And so it goes.