Hospital Rooms for Cancer Patients: A Home Away From Home

Hospital RoomThere is a very special place I know of. On the surface it seems austere, uninviting: a row of rooms, private but plain. These rooms have a bed and a bath, a window and a tray table, a call light and a nightstand. The occupants come and go. Some stay for just a night or two. Others stay for weeks. But they all have one thing in common: They are my patients. And this is their hospital. And these rooms are where they fight to live, and where they sometimes die.

I have come to know this place all too well. I have waged war for 30 years here. The faces change, the treatments evolve, but the rooms remain. Behind each door lies a patient, with their loved ones at the bedside, fighting for life. Hope and fear pull from opposite sides of these rooms, with patient and doctor in the middle. This tug-of-war seems endless, as the fate of each finds its place somewhere in between.

The ward is usually a hustle-and-bustle. Activity swirls up and down the hall and in and out of every room. Then, ever so infrequently, a lull descends. On a rare Sunday, the rooms may stand empty and quiet. To see them this way seems just a bit strange. And as I stroll the hallway and glance into them, I hear the deafening echo of all that has taken place within those sacred spaces. I want to rush in and deny the illusion of their emptiness, to remember their living and their dead.

These are not just empty rooms, sterile and functional. They are the homes of my beloved patients — when they are too sick to be in their real homes. Which, has sort of made it my home as well. For doctor and patient both, these rooms offer a sacred home away from home…

Photo Source: By monoimitamonos

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