Friday, March 25, 2011
by Glynis M. Belec
"Go fill out your questionnaire, please, then have a seat," says the kindly receptionist behind the screened area.
Like an obedient puppy, I obey. I know the routine. The black Acer screen beckons me with its cancerous finger. I forget my password. I don't want to appear a fool so I try to reset it. An older gentleman clad in the gayly coloured lemon-yellow volunteer's smock with the cancer society logo on the pocket, appears from nowhere. I confess I have forgotten my password. Six months is a long time and my cerebral hard-drive contains 15 or 20 other passwords.
"What year were you born?" asks the kindly volunteer.
A rather personal question, I think. Then I remember nothing is hidden at the cancer clinic. 1956. I punch it into the keyboard. Bingo. It works. I answer all the required questions. Eventually the printer spits out the completed page and I clutch it to my chest.
As I take my seat, I see a woman about my age, holding a beautiful, ebony-haired toddler. Grandma - perhaps? The mother hangs on to the empty stroller and positions herself three seats over from where I sit. She chooses the pink chair.
Dear God, I find myself thinking. Don't let her be the one with cancer.
I do not want the Grandma to be the reason they are at the clinic today, either. But my heart was heavy lest it be the young mother of that beautiful little boy.
Soon the dreaded sound of my pager buzzing brings me back to reality and Kay, the nurse, catches my eye. She greets me in her usual, professional and friendly manner. She settles me into the sterile exmination room and asks me for my completed questionnaire. We speak for a while. She documents my concerns and tucks them into the file.
"Doctor S will be in to see you soon," she smiles.
She hands me my less than glamorous hospital gown and tells me to take my time because Dr. S is busy today. I wait. I dig into my red, Write! Canada bag stuffed with papers, my camera, a writer's magazine, my agenda and a notebook. I don't know what to do first.
My brain plays tricks.
"Your cancer is back! Your cancer is back!" The enemy has a heyday.
Grief is a mysterious monster. It lunges us into deep dark places seeking the once familiar pathway of love. It longs to recapture the ...
Inspiration hardly strikes on an empty stomach. For this, and other reasons, writers must eat. And if you like minced beef (and you...
A phrase I do not remember hearing frequently, has surpized me in the last three days, at least twice, in totally unrelated con...
I hope you and your loved ones enjoyed a safe and pleasant Canada Day celebration. My wife and I did. However, instead of writing about ...
Women who came from a variety of cultural backgrounds and languages met together and talked about heat and warmth. If the mothe...
Glen and I were in Quebec City for a fund-raising event. When it finished, we decided to go to one of our favourite restaur...
We bring you greetings from the Solace Retreat House in Kigali, Rwanda. REVOLUTIONARY LOVE (John 3:16) was the theme of the five-day Healin...
I considered making this piece a prologue in my book, but I feel that readers often skip prologues. I would welcome your feedback on th...
There's a time to dance. Ecclesiastes 3:4 Laughter and dance go together. The author's father and grandmother. In an early...
By Rev Dr Ed and Janice Hird While recently teaching on marriage in East Africa to tens of thousands, we asked many Africans what ...