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Blood Lines Poem 3
My treatment journey
began with a bland entrance door.
The face-masked porter opened it,
asking, “What are you here for?”
“I’m checking into haematology,”
I whispered through my covered face,
“I was told to arrive at 7pm,
Have I got the right place?”
My shoes tip-tapped noisily,
walking down the silent corridor.
The wheels of my suitcase squeaked rustily,
gliding over the smooth grey floor.
My movements echoed off the hospital walls,
no-one was with me here, inside.
Outwardly I looked composed and calm,
inwardly I cried.
Forwards, like a dead-woman walking,
as if going to my grave,
I braced myself and kept moving,
I didn’t feel very brave.
For once, I took the lift -
no people around meant no waiting,
I reached the 7th floor and stepped out,
for a moment, hesitating.
I rang the bell and waited,
no-one came to the door.
I pressed the buzzer again,
resting my bags on the floor.
At last, a nurse hurried up to me,
an anxious look on her face
“Who are you? We’re not expecting anyone,
I hope we have the space…”
The minutes ticked by into an hour,
eventually I was given a room.
It was a prison cell, all sanitised,
with necessities – bare gloom.
The loneliness of my entrance
was missed by staff that night,
I was just another patient.
It didn’t feel quite right.
I was admitted to the haematology ward two days after the second covid lockdown had started. It was in the evening and the hospital was deserted. It was one of the loneliest walks of my life, as my husband, Mark, had to leave me at the entrance. A journey into the complete unknown. The poem is inspired by “The Listeners” by Walter De La Mare.
One thing I did take in with me was a set of poster of birds and butterflies given to me by a neighbour. These caused a lot of conversation with staff. One cleaner was particularly stunned by the range of ducks in this country. He didn’t realise there were lots of different ducks, so we had great fun talking about this and which ones were to be found locally.
Flynne’s Barn is a place where young people living with cancer can come together and find connection in beautiful surroundings and provides a range of immersive outdoor and creative experiences. I am sharing one poem per day during September 2022 to raise money for this charity. To DONATE, visit my GO FUND ME page. Many thanks.
The range of blood cancers is considerable and even within one type there are many subsets and mutants. Blood Cancer UK is a useful generic website with lots of information for healthcare professionals as well as patients.
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