A Different Perspective
I remember all too well, in 1989 when I began my treatments for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I recall the first chair upon entering the chemo suite. There were only two other chairs, but they were always empty. I was always alone. My first day of treatment, Brenda, my oncology nurse, took the time, to keep speaking to me in a calm, motherly voice from the insertion of the needle to the administration of the drugs, how each was going to make me feel as it went along, and then at the end, “see you next week.”
I remember all too well, after I completed my treatments, I underwent my first scan since treatments ended. I was sitting at my desk at work, when a page came through my intercom, “Paul, there’s a call for you on Line 2. It’s your doctor.” My office full of other co-workers came to a complete standstill, quiet.
“Paul, we have good news, you are in remission.”
I said thank you, and hung up the phone. Everyone around me was still quiet. I rested my head upon my folded hands, and then tears began to fall from my eyes. I had done it. I beat cancer. I was going to live so much longer.
This was my life as a patient.
This is my life as a caregiver.
Tomorrow, my father will begin his cancer treatments for lung cancer. No easy fete, he has four cycles to get through. He will suffer through side effects. He will be exhausted. I will be there with him for each treatment.
Tomorrow, one of my fellow “Hodgkoids”, will undergo his first scan since completing his treatments two weeks ago. He will get the scan done, and then wait to hear that word, “remission.”
Dad, you can do this.
To my young friend, “As I continue down the road of remission, I will look in my rear view mirror to make sure you got onto that highway.” Good luck tomorrow.