Friday, 28 October 2011


In the dream, I am lacking some key blood component and could not survive chemotherapy were it not for my volunteer. I never see my volunteer clearly. He or she is a figure in white, sitting in one of the hospital's big reclining chairs, arm outstretched, hooked up to IV lines, donating a supply of the ingredient my own blood lacks. I dream this several times and then the dream recurs on subsequent nights. The plot expands.

We are all missing something, we cancer patients, and each one of us has a volunteer. It is treatment beneath the treatment they tell us about. I glance into a room much like a smaller version of the chemo clinic. Volunteers dressed in white are seated in a semi-circle of chairs, donating this precious chemical which will allow us to survive. I cannot see their features. Just the vague shape of faces and bodies dressed in glowing white gowns. The clinic is silent and peaceful. The feeling is matter-of-fact. This is the job of the volunteers and they are doing it unsung and without expectation of thanks or reward.

I wake up thinking of prayers, of healing energy and good wishes sent to we cancer patients. I wake up wondering about the beneath of healing.


Brian said...

I have had similar dreams to this, along a different vein, of course. It's amazing to know how really fragile we can be and how much we really need each other. Being faced with one's own mortality has a way of clearing a vision like nothing else. Gone are the thoughts of social ambition and materialism. The things we valued so highly, only a day before, become worthless. Those things like family and friends, who we never really made enough time for in the past, become priceless. We get so caught up in the act of "doing" that we miss the opportunity to be caught up in the act of "being". If absence makes the heart grow fonder, then affliction makes the eye see clearer.

Howpublic said...

Perfectly expressed, Brian. Exactly.
Thank you.