At the HAP, the waiting rooms are wide open spaces. So when you’re waiting for a doctor’s appointment, you get to see lots of people passing by, patients, nurses, secretaries and doctors. Some of them stop by and chat with me from time to time.
Since it is not a very big hospital and I’ve been through most ot its departments, I get to know an awful lot of people (well ‘awful’ just because it’s not a good sign when you get to know so many people in a hospital).
By the way, now I still have to go to the hospital quite often because last chemo, besides cleaning up cancer cells (which was amazing), destroyed a lot of good and healthy things... But that’s allright even though I sometimes feel like an old bike tire with lots of rubber repair patches.
Last Monday, I was waiting for an appointment and I was engrossed in a very interesting novel by Le Clézio about the birth of the State of Israel.
Someone stopped by me, this someone being a lady doctor. But it took me quite a few seconds to realize someone was intently watching me. Still kind of lost in my book, I raised my eyes. The lady was smiling at me.
I was sure I knew her from somewhere but who was she?
She didn’t seem to be in a hurry because she kept smiling at me. I smiled back, still wondering who she was.
Then she said: ‘Olive Oyl? How are you?’
She knows my name. Wow!
‘I’m fine, thank you.’
‘You don’t remember me, do you?’
She grinned at me.
‘I’ve been your anesthesiologist ever since 2003.’
It’s hard to remember an anesthesiologist’s face since you only have one meeting with him/her before surgery. Then you get to see him/her for a few minutes in the operating room and that’s about it.
She did come to check on me several times after surgery n°2 which had lasted 8 hours (2006). I was so heavily drugged during several days afterwards that my memories are kind of hazy. But I remembered her as being a very, very nice person. And after a while, I forgot all about her because I was fighting something that seemed bigger than me!
Back to the waiting room...
‘How are you, Olive?’
Oh, oh, she does look concerned.
‘I feel fine. I really do, thank you.’
‘Do you? Really?’
‘Yes. Thank you (very much for looking so shocked/surprised).’
‘Well, how are you really doing?’
You must be kidding, dear Doctor. I am alive, very much alive. Can’t you see it?
Oops. Has someone been lying to me?
‘I’m allright, I’m allright. I feel fine, really, everything is ok.’
Then she looks at my breasts area.
‘What about your breast cancer?’
Now would I say I’m fine if I weren’t? I know that in this hospital, my name is cancer-related. I know but please, this is not a joke.
’43 months since last chemo and still cancer free...’
If she keeps looking at me like this, I don’t know what I’m going to do. She does look worried but she’s still smiling. So there is hope somewhere... Maybe she’ll start believing me!
‘You look good anyway. I’m so glad you are still alive.’
This is awesome...
I’m well past enjoying the situation but I do manage a smiling ‘thank you’.
I’m totally flabbergasted. I know she meant well but...
who would enjoy to be taken for a ‘ghost’ even for a few seconds?
*Good luck, and Good night*