So there I was lying on this strange bed in this strange place with these strange people. I started to feel really vulnerable, there were children on the other beds, some talking, some crying and some screaming. I felt as if I had been left in some kind of mad house. I started to panic, ‘I shouldn’t be here’, I thought and longed for my parents to come back and rescue me.
The 10 minutes that I was told I would have to wait for had been stretched out by quite some time. I was starting to get worried and also wondered what was being said. I wanted to be there, ‘surely if they’re talking about me I should know what they’re saying’, I thought. Nurses kept coming up to me asking I was alright. ‘Of course I’m not alright’, I thought, ‘I’m in a hospital!’ However I just nodded, willing them to go away and leave me alone, again my shyness was overpowering me and was making me feel scared of all these strangers.
As well as asking me if I was ok, they were asking if I was comfortable. They didn’t know that I had to lie on my left side but I wasn’t able to tell them. One of the nurses tried to get me to sit upright but I wasn’t having any of it. I finally managed to say to her why I was lying on my left side, (after several attempts, my speech still wasn’t that great!) and she stopped immediately, notifying anyone else who tried to do the same.
During this time, I was constantly staring at the door of Sucheta’s office. Willing my Mum to appear so that we could go home. All I could see, however were several other people walking in and out and prolonging the process. I know now that they were discussing my cancer treatment, what drugs I should have etc. The people going in and out were other doctors and professionals giving their opinions on what would be the best way to attack the cancer in my brain.
Finally, my parents re-appeared and I breathed a sigh of relief. The basics of what had been discussed were told to me and if I’m honest I didn’t really understand any of it, but just nodded along in order to get it all over and done with, so that we could get on our way. I thought to myself, ‘I’m glad that’s over, I don’t want to be coming back here again’. Of course, I didn’t know then that I would indeed be spending a lot of time there over the next year or so!
My Mum managed to explain to me, in terms that I understood, what was going to happen. She told me that my treatment would start off with six weeks of radiotherapy. I had no idea what radiotherapy was and just prayed that it would be easy and wouldn’t hurt.