Excerpt 4. Nothing personal, disturbing undercurrents in cancer care. Radcliffe publishing.

Chapter Four

Being kind to be cruel

Freeze-dried moment
Time set waiting, gears set grating
Walls of glass come slamming down, setting me apart

Now there is ‘before’ and ‘after’
Stark. Oppressive.
Brightness. Dark.
‘Neural gridlock’ in the footlights’ glare
Yet all my senses scream, fine-tuned,
At your words, lasering gelatinous air

Thoughts fragmented, deconstructed
How naïve to have believed

Disbelief at the deceit
That you should choose this way to break the news

– – – – –

Replay holds no answer
Not even a hint
All saved for today
Confidence shattered, elusive as trust
The trust that I’m craving
Now, an absolute, tangible ‘must’
But you don’t seem to know what you’ve taken away

Without a firm grounding, I’m hanging mid-air
But faultless detachment frees you from care
Control and delivery done with precision
Maximum impact, exquisite incision
While I must be looked upon with derision
-You’ve known all along and not shared

False reassurances, smiles on a tiger
Worked like a charm
But you don’t seem to know you’re compounding the harm…

…He’s sitting behind a desk, reading my notes. He has yet to acknowledge my presence. I sit down uninvited, still buoyed up by lingering remnants of Mary Wesley’s humour, nervously hoping my smile will convey confidence. Maybe it’s something that can be cured with drugs, or diet. Yes or no? Please tell me quickly – the thought of being cut open is terrifying. He ignores me.

“Good morning”, I offer, tentatively, a mouse faking bravery. He looks up, but returns neither my greeting nor my smile – and his words freeze time.


About bmitzi

Medical writer, author, artist. Cancer campaigner. Aiming always to improve health services and bring compassion into health care.
This entry was posted in anal cancer, books, clinical trials, Compassion in healthcare, palliative care, patient safety, rarer and uncommon cancers and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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