If I let go and allow my mind to wander, I can still smell that room. Cracked ceilings, the beeps of the monitors whisper things you don’t want to hear, and the smell of the old skin permeates the air. Strangers come in and out, to take vitals, to remove trash, to deliver food, and to write their name on the dry eraser board in the room. The television set acts as a megaphone to the room, blurting out the news of the world. I am not listening.
I find every excuse to leave that room. “Dad, do you want an extra blanket? I will run to the nurse’s station and see if I can pick one up.” I don’t wait to hear him say yes or no, my footsteps shuffle ahead, while my body tries to keep up, the door closing behind me. I can breathe outside the room, my stomach feels less tight, the air doing hula hoops around me.
When I try to look for refuge, I find little comfort. As I curve around the hallways, I hear nurses and doctors talking about normal, everyday stuff. The doctor saying, “Hey did you catch that game last night?” The nurse laughs and says, “Ya, we pulled it out. Great game.” I don’t go to the nurse’s station because I don’t want to interrupt the rhythm of their conversation.
Instead, I walk into the break room, trying to distract myself, looking at choices of coffee, tea, sodas. It surprises me the array of choices and for a minute, I believe I am in line at a breakfast buffet. The sobbing from a young woman confirms that I am still breathing the air of a hospital, not a Las Vegas Buffet.
I don’t look at my watch, but the heaviness of the second hand moving tells me I need to go back to my Dad’s room. I don’t want to. Oh God, I want to be anywhere, but here.
I lust for a world before cancer infiltrated it.
I love this. I was in there with you–the break room. I feel your pain and your angst.
My anxiety went to new heights as I read you simple but compelling words. You wrote a whole story in just a few paragraphs.
This is very beautiful. It’s hard to describe the pain and exhaustion that caring for a sick loved one evokes. You’ve captured it very well here.
Again, stunning. Raw, painful, and a beuatiful glimpse of your soul. And those who have had cancer (and other life taking diseases) invade their worlds know exactly what you feel.
Striking, poignant, and painful. You let us right into your world and your heart.
Oh my, so very poignant. I’m sending hugs, because this is so, so heart achingly painful I know. My dad was just diagnosed with prostate cancer, just two weeks ago. The prognosis is good, but oh how that word, that evil, vile worlds has turned my life upside down.
Cancer is a horrible, terrible disease. Beautifully written, striking and stark.
Beautifully written. I am familiar with these scenes all too well.
This is so simply yet stunningly written, I felt your pain through every sentence and at the same time your undying love for your Dad.
Another beautiful, striking, raw post, Rudri. It’s something I’ll think about everytime I go into a patient’s room … what things look and feel like from the patient’s and family’s perspective. I hope it makes me a better doctor and person. Thank you.
Oh, you are breaking my heart. I feel like I’m right there with you. What a powerful post.
With your vivid descriptions, I feel as though I’m in that room with you (and I know those rooms, and don’t want to be there, either). Wonderfully written, and a worthy tribute to your pain of that moment.
Your descriptions-beautiful, your pain-devastating, but you explain it with such an eloquence.
I do understand on a less extreme level. My youngest daughter spent quite a while in the NICU after birth, and while there was no where else I wanted to be but with her, I would have rather been anywhere else but in that hospital.
I know you can’t go back to life before, but hopefully each piece you write about the experience is bringing you peace. Much love to you, friend.
This is exquisite. You said so much in so few words. I’m sorry for your profound loss – evident in your posts. If you haven’t already, I hope you will find peace with this chapter of your life someday.
Perfectly written. I am sorry for your pain. And I thank you for your writing.
This is stunning, Rudri. You show a stark contrast between the world around you; casual and superficial, and the world you’re in; painful and dreadful. Thank you for sharing.
I feel like I am right there with you in your pain; and yet, I recognize no one can possibly understand or comfort.
You’re in our prayers.
I do, too. For me, that’s yearning for my world 15 years and at least five people ago. It’s become easier, or at least more peaceful, but I’ll always wish it were different.
So many others have described why this is so wonderfully written. I don’t have much to add except to say that I am so sorry you and your father are going through this.
A lust for “normal.” Of course.
So powerfully written, Rudri. Makes my heart ache.
This is so beautifully written, so poignant, so honest.
You write so well. I recognise every painful aspect of this – twice over now – and I still find it haunts me.