Reflections From A Cancer Clinic Waiting Room

Image from pixgood.com
Image from pixgood.com

“From even the greatest of horrors irony is seldom absent.”
~ H.P. Lovecraft, Tales of H.P. Lovecraft

A small family cluster of us sat endlessly in the waiting room of a cancer clinic yesterday.

It was a busy place, at a busy hospital. On the way to the clinic, we’d passed a young woman who had lost her eye, a man in a wheelchair missing a foot, a series of shuffling and shambling patients of various ages.

There were hosts of worried relatives in thrown-together outfits, looking careworn and in need of coffee and a hug.

The waiting room was packed. We found seats underneath a television screen we could not see. But I listened to the running commentary.

The irony was not lost on me. Television spruikers talked about the importance of skin care and maintaining our youthful appearance. Life was better with young skin. You would be more popular, and get better jobs. You could look  like a movie star. Then there was a miracle exercise machine to effortlessly melt fat. It came with complimentary mineral makeup. Call now!

How truly offensive it was, listening to these paid presenters playing to our insecurities. Deprived of the pictures, the commentary took on a lewd ignorance.

Here I was, surrounded by people fighting for their lives.

For some, the fight isn’t going well. For some, the fight will be lost.

People bald from chemo, their skin fragile, bruised and thin, their faces bloated and round or gaunt and pale, looked away from the screen. I saw beauty in every single one. I witnessed the most tender exchanges of love and care. I saw how valued and precious each person was to their family and friends.

You are beautiful. Life is beautiful. This endless quest for youth and physical perfection is the ugly thing.

Hug your loved ones today. Be kind to yourself. Be kind to the people around you. Don’t buy into that garbage on television and the media. What’s inside you will always matter more that big hair, white teeth or a perfect hip-thigh ratio.

I love you. Right now. Just as you are.

Nicole <3 xoxo

Hi! I'm Nicole Cody. I am a writer, psychic, metaphysical teacher and organic farmer. I love to read, cook, walk on the beach, dance in the rain and grow things. Sometimes, to entertain my cows, I dance in my gumboots. Gumboot dancing is very under-rated.
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20 thoughts on “Reflections From A Cancer Clinic Waiting Room

  1. I relived every visit with my mum reading your words this evening. Life is so sureil, and we are surrounded by so much crap its no wonder people are so disorientated and disconnected from what truly matters. I found each treatment with my mum a challenge, not only for what was taking place for her but for the sadness and emptiness in peoples eyes living with a life changing disease that holds no prejudices. I always left so grateful for each breath and for this experience of life, and with compassion in my heart for those undergoing treatment and the family and loved ones involved. Thank you..

  2. Quite pathetic really isn’t it …when you think what some poor people are going through . I actually hate television anywhere but in the home . Then at least it’s your choice if you watch it or not .
    Cherryx

  3. I loathe the constant bombardment of the tv.A screen everywhere you go Such a relief recently when we had three trips to the large public hospital recently, that on two occasions it was turned off/broken.Even the gp has those dreadful health infomercials.Sending you a blank screen and a cloud of good wishes.XX

  4. strange the things they have on TV in those places. One particularly down day, I couldn’t stand it anymore. The full waiting room, waiting for radiation, was being treated to Dr Oz. Please anything but more doctors and diseases – comedy or national geographic! They listened, God Bless them. 💜️xxx. (Remember to ask for a change if you see this!)

  5. sat in a similar room today at the Vetweran’s Hospital that my husband goes to…
    many men and some women…all in stages of different health issues…
    Mine sat beside me…looking pretty good compared to others…but, my mind wandered to how he will be after Chemo is taken…

  6. Everything is about the perspective we see from. I was having an especially dizzy day and lamented that it would be nice if the dizziness were to one day disappear. Then the next sentence was that at least it wasn’t cancer. I’m blessed is so many ways. It’s important to remember what really matters. Thanks.

  7. I felt I was in that waiting room with you! Each and every shuffling and shambling patient plus their worried and careworn relative was deserving of a hug. You truly captured the essence of the glowing human spirit that is so beautiful and priceless.

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