That's just a gratuitous foliage picture from Vermont. Has nothing to do with what I'm writing.
Over the last four months I've spent some quality time in the infusion unit on the 8th floor of Yawkey at MGH and I've made some observations.
1. Cancer does not discriminate. There are all kinds of people from all different backgrounds hanging out here.
2. Having said that, I would like to express my jealousy over the fact that Black women look awesome with no hair. Fierce. The White ladies ... not so much ....
3. Since part of chemo treatment involves checking patients' identity before doing ANYTHING ... I hear people rattle of their birthdays a lot. I think the oldest person I've heard was born in 1938.
4. I am by far the youngest person I've seen in there. What's with that?
5. Chemo nurses must be the most relentlessly positive and energetic people in all of health care. I'm sure of it. And they have tremendous technical skills to go along with their people skills. Truly wonderful people. It's actually hard to be in a bad mood in there.
6. it's interesting to watch how different families and relationships go through cancer treatment in different ways. Some people come in there with a whole entourage and they talk nonstop. Others sit silently together. Lots of people watch Judge Judy in the afternoon .... who knew? I've heard an awkward argument or two. Others - myself included - tend to come in alone. I know that in my own case that's not for lack of willing companions, it's just that I actually sometimes enjoy the down time alone. I wonder sometimes what other people think when they see that. I don't actually CARE what they think, but I kind of wonder.
7. The view makes a difference. It's just so pretty to look out over the river.
I'm nearing the end of this part of the journey and will be happy to walk out of Yawkey 8 in a few weeks and make smartass jokes about hopefully never seeing any of those lovely, wonderful people again. And at the same time - it's s little strange to begin to think about what the next phase of this thing will be because it's a whole lot more nebulous. I'm eager to get back to some kind of normal, but also deeply aware that whatever normal I get back to won't be the normal I had before. I'll let you know when I figure out what the heck any of that means.