As I lumber through the dregs of yesterday’s snowstorm on my way to the hospital today, I reflect on how I am feeling about going to the chemo unit. What is my reaction to this weekly ritual? I think it’s safe to say I am not thinking “Yippee, yahoo, I get to go to the chemo unit. Walk faster, I want to get that needle sooner!” At the same time, I am not dreading my visit. I do not have any gut-squeezing anxiety about my trip here. (It’s easier for me than some visitors to the chemo unit because I do not associate my visits with throwing up and losing my hair. My drug is relatively easy to tolerate.)
It surprises to me to understand that after almost two years of coming here, I actually have an affectionate feeling towards the chemo unit. I may belly ache a great deal about the wait times; I may complain about feeling like I am in a black hole on a given day. But that whining does not diminish the bigger picture of the people that work here. I realize that any place where there are kind and caring people, can begin to feel a little bit like home. I have, in a sense, my chemo family that knows me and looks out for me during this weekly visit.
I smile over this realization as I arrive on the fourth floor. I am greeted by all three of the receptionists with friendly smiles and jokes. Michael checks me in quickly and I relax, settle in for the wait and wonder which family member will take care of me today.