I have a fair amount of free time currently, but I don’t know if I will ever have enough to read The Cancer Ward by Solzhenitzen (sp).
In any case, I’m going to my very own 5 days/week right here in sunny Southern California. And herewith are a couple of my sunny observations:
The moods of chemo and radiation reflect the architecture.
Chemo is Business Class five floors up, w/ a view. Many people are open and congenial, willing to chat. “Can I get you some juice? I’m going that way,” as we push along our dripbag stand. There is a feeling of life and hope, and sunshine. We’re being harmed (poison) just as much as by radiation, but I think one still associates a needle/transfusion more w/ healing benefit, as opposed to what we associate w/ a ray shot from a machine. I like to read. Others listen to music (iPod), chat up the kind nurses, quietly talk on their phones, or just try to sleep.
Down in the Sunburn Dungeon there is no conversation. There are no warming rays of sunlight. Some people are even wheeled in. Some people from lower socioeconomic strata w/ large round growths hanging off their neck. Some people almost comatose being pushed in a wheelchair. The only conversation is the Spanglish tossed back and forth by the medical transport workers (definitely not EMT’s) who wheel in some of the customers and then wait in the hallway w/ all the rest of us. I spend about 10 minutes every day working on a jigsaw puzzle in the center of this area. If I get in two pieces, it’s a good day. And it WILL be incomplete; I can see there are numerous missing pieces.
And there is my 10¢ metaphor for the day.