Looking out the fifth-floor window,
Cars go in and out the hospital carpark,
Directly below the busway line is empty,
Except for the occasional bus,
The road alongside has a steady flow of traffic,
Typical for a Saturday morning at 9.00am.
It rained earlier but the road is dry now,
The sky is grey and will likely be that way for the day,
Down on the first floor,
There is an area decked out with recliner armchairs,
Each is accompanied by a stand with drip lines and bags hanging,
Delivering drip by drip the drugs,
That promise to provide support,
To those extremely ill patients,
They do not look ill, but they know that they are,
Regular blood tests have been tracking the progress of the cancer within them.
The nurses attending are friendly,
They chat to the patients as they administer the treatment.
The patients know their chemo routine, and answer the questions asked,
The focus is on them individually as the nurses circulate to make sure the infusion is going well.
The atmosphere is pleasant,
Even though they all know that there is an elephant in the room.
The name adorns the building making it easy to find should the need arise.
ICON CANCER CLINIC is displayed with a sign telling us we are at the Mater Private Hospital.
All the recliners in the room are taken and there are other rooms just like it.
There are twenty-six infusion stations in the clinic.
A final sip of my coffee and it is time to leave, and to return to the infusion room,
To pickup my wife and take her home.
This routine will be completed over and over for a week,
A three-week break will follow and then it begins again.
The number of rounds of Chemo needed,
Is dependent on when the Bone Marrow Transplant can be scheduled,
Then the real treatment begins in earnest with may weeks in hospital,
And then up to three months in the Cancer Village nearby.
Neil P. Schiller