Patient X

In the patient restroom located on the second floor at the Cancer Treatment Center of America (CTCA), I saw an alarming amount of dried blood on paper towels in the waste basket. The sight made me experience a wide range of emotions, from sadness to anger to relief. It makes me wonder what that patient was experiencing to make them bleed like that, and how scary that must have been. I haven’t personally had an experience like that, losing blood from anywhere (other than good ol’ reliable Aunt Flow), hence my feelings of relief that it wasn’t me. I wish I could say that I’ve made substantial connections with other patients here, but I haven’t. I attribute that to the fact that many of the patients who are here are inpatient, while I am of the fortunate few who resides here and can be treated (for the most part) as an outpatient. So I come and go while others spend their entire days here. I have encountered many patients, exchanged friendly glances and “hello”s but nothing beyond that. So while I worry about that patient who lost so much blood today, I wouldn’t have the lightest clue as to who they are, if they’re okay, or what their prognosis is. So, all I do now, is pray. I pray for this person, for what they are experiencing and for comfort during their time of suffering. I hope that they are all right, that they are one of the fortunate ones who survives this disease. My heart goes out to you, Patient X.

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