Arms easier in a buttoned sweater,
To find a hat to go in bed,
And answer doors with covered head,
To eat even when feeling ill,
(An empty stomach’s an acid pill)
To look for bras without a wire,
And hope they’re ones you can admire.
To dress up well on clinic days,
Like it’s a party, a social phase.
To massage scars until they move,
To keep a good tune in the groove.
To not expect to go to plan,
But hope it just might, if it can…
Some say wine’s fine with chemo drip,
My hospital was not that hip,
A good Chablis, not full Champagne
(The health and safety issues plain).
I learned to look for rainbows,
To not ask where the drain goes,
To do the rear end gown pose,
Elsewise the pantie line shows…
To laugh along but not alone,
That veins are disappearing prone,
To love and live and carry on.
Regardless hope, dignity’s gone…
Inspired by the poem, Things I Learned at University (Kate Bingham) I wrote the above, from my experience, and just wondered what you might think you learned? It is an education after all….
I asked some friends, they said,
“I learnt patience. I learnt to speak up for myself. I learnt that there are a lot of caring staff in the NHS. I learnt to share my experiences with others. I learnt how to not get wet hands when providing a urine sample…”
“I’ve learnt what it’s like to be stared at walking down the street with a tube hanging out my nose, how to avoid the people who take your blood (go for a walk when they come to the ward), how your body no longer feels like yours, what it is like to be showered, how wonderful and kind people are, how important family are, i’ve learnt far too much about laxatives, how to do a little a day and slowly build on that, how to appreciate the small things (when not depressed), how fickle feelings are.”
It seems unfortunate to me that there is nowhere to put cancer on your CV…