Observations from the chemo ward

Another “waiting room” post. So much waiting! I thought I’d put down a few things I’ve observed in my many hours in the waiting room so far. Interestingly, it’s not the chemo patients who act bizarrely, it’s their companions.

“The Cougher”. The Cougher coughs loudly and theatrically throughout his time in the waiting room. Let me explain for the uninitiated. You do not cough on a chemo ward. If you need to cough, you walk away to anywhere but here and cough there. And don’t come back. Do you not see the stricken looks on all the other chemo patient’s faces? Coughing around the immune suppressed is really not cool.

“The Tragic”. This is almost always the teenage daughter of a chemo patient. The Tragic manages to whip herself into such a state of teen hysteria that she looks considerably sicker than her mother. And thus her mum worries about her. Honestly, life as a chemo mum looks bloody impossible. What is interesting is the transformation when mum goes for treatment. Then The Tragic returns to merrily texting her friends and listening to tunes on her iPhone.

“The Perver”. This charming man uses his time in the waiting room not to support his wife, but to check out all the young girls in the waiting room. The young girl is normally me. Must I dress like a monk when I come in for treatment to entice you to pay attention to your wife?

“The Impatient Spouse”. This person, usually female, errs on the side of over- rather than under-indulgence of their spouse. They rage that everyone seems to be getting faster/better treatment than their spouse. They stand at the reception desk and complain while bald chemo patients queue exhaustedly behind them.

Again, what interests me in all of this is how well behaved the actual patients are! No coughing, groaning, complaining or perving. Perhaps there just isn’t enough energy left over for drama?




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