Today Stella and I are sitting for our seventeenth chemo treatment.
Once again we sit under the fluorescent lights, surrounded by the white hospital walls. The chairs are lined up against the wall in “bus station” style seating.
No, it’s not terrible.
Cancer is terrible.
The chemo that fights the cancer can be terrible.
The blood tests and scans and injections can be terrible.
The sick feeling and weight loss and hair loss and a bunch of other nasty side-effects can be terrible for both patients and those who care about them.
Sitting with no way of knowing what the next month — or even the next week — will bring can be terrible.
The word terrible starts with terror, and yeah, I get that.
So relatively, the lack of a homey atmosphere for those getting treatment is not the worst thing in the world.
But it can be much better.
And it will be. Very soon.
Today I met with the hospital’s architect and we discussed plans for making this treatment room a better place. And with the 170,000 shekels we raised from the bike ride and wrist band sales, we can quickly turn these plans into a reality. So within a few weeks, we will be sitting in a room with more color, more privacy, more of an atmosphere of comfort and healing. For all those who donated, for all the soldiers of Stella’s Army, for all those who have cheered us on and made these renovations possible, Stella and I thank you.
Of course no matter how nice these renovations are, I would love nothing more than never to see them. Wouldn’t it be good to leave the nicer room for others in the battle while we find things that are more fun for our Mondays? (It’s a low bar I know — root canal while sitting on a block of ice as wild dogs fight would be more fun.)
But we know that this room is where we will be spending our Mondays for a very long time. That’s just a reality. So all we can do is make the most of our reality and move forward, while all the time imagining a dawn of health for us and for all those fighting cancer.
The bike ride may be over, but Stella and I will continue “Riding for the Dawn.”
And we can hear your cheers.
Shaare Zedek Oncology Day Treatment Room