Therapeutic Reminder

Therapeutic Reminder

Placidly, one after another,
they wait, a procession,
a steady flow succumbing
to a vital flow of a questionable future,
their wan smiles at the cheerfulness
of those who attend to them a reminder
that hope, however subtle,
still lives, their lives in the balance.

This morning, I completed the second of two sessions of chemotherapy – not of the sort you might expect. After numerous tests and procedures, my doctors have decided that iron infusion is the answer to the severe iron deficiency anemia I have been experiencing since late last summer. A bag of “rusty water” (my nurse referred to it as “chocolate water”) was blended with a bag of saline solution as it was pumped into my arm. Lab tests at three, nine, and twelve months will determine if/when I will need further treatment. Hopefully that’s years away.

The infusion took place at Missouri Cancer Associates. During my short time there I felt out of place as I sat beside patients with far more pressing needs than mine.

Shared with Open Link #288: March Live edition at dVerse ~ Poets Pub

62 thoughts on “Therapeutic Reminder

  1. Sounds like a positive step. I went with my mom a couple times when she had some low strength infusions. It was… disturbing, seeing the others who were suffering more. Your photo makes me think of coffee enemas I heard about from Tijuana cancer hospitals.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Glad your anemia was given a strong response by the doctors. Why you had to have the treatment at the oncologists isn’t understood, but maybe that’s what you were sent (not by doctors) to observe for this moment in your life. The thought of a procession lined up for cancer treatments is haunting.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. If we lived closer, Ken, I’d volunteer to chauffeur you to and from any appointments, just so I could (legitimately) hang out in hospital waiting rooms. Best wishes and positive vibes for any health issues you may continue to face. Peace, Brother.

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  4. It’s truly interesting the scenarios you see in those rooms. When I was going for radiation treatments, there was this one Trumper who was always going on and on about him. It was hard to listen to and keep quiet. Well done Ken- you really captured the essence.

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  5. You’ve really captured that delicate balance between life and death here, Ken. My sister had chemo but I never went with her to sessions as we lived far apart. I think it is a really tough thing to go through. I hope you recover soon after your transfusion!

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  6. I’m fascinated by this treatment, Ken, which I had never heard of, and I hope it does the trick for you. I too have found myself alongside patients with far more pressing needs, as well as experiencing my late father’s dialysis on several occasions, and it does leave an imprint on you. I applaud the way you have transferred that imprint to a powerful poem, especially the juxtaposition of ‘wan smiles’ and ‘cheerfulness’, ‘a reminder that hope, however subtle, still lives, their lives in the balance’.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Stephanie.
      An endoscopy, a colonoscopy, a lower balloon enteroscopy, an upper balloon enteroscopy, and a capsule endoscopy — the final decision… the capsule study (swallowing a one-inch capsule camera) showed minor abrasion in my small intestine that could have minor blood seepage that wouldn’t necessarily be visible at the far end ( 😉 ), so I was referred to a hematologist who prescribed the iron infusion. Follow-up visits with him at 3, 9, and 12 months will determine if the infusion will need to be repeated. He said that our bodies have a great ability to retain iron, but a minor loss over several years takes its toll. The infusion addresses that, and some people who have an infusion go a year or less, and others may go up to 5 years.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. take care and stay safe . the poems on this prompt make me sad that i missed the live. would have loved to here this. have tried playing the recorded but cannot get it to play (my pc not wanting to play). get well soon.

    Liked by 1 person

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