Monday, July 8, 2013

The Cancer Blog: Week 24

My Health

This blog within a blog will discuss cancer and all of my fears, hopes and expectations for a positive outcome—full and complete recovery. In addition, I plan to throw in some latest medical research. All cancer patients are interested, to some degree, in research and the latest medical findings; I am no exception. 

Today is Day 203 living with cancer; today is chemo no 10, since last week’s session was cancelled due to a low platelet count.

Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot
Photo Credit & Source: PossumPointPlayers

One of the tiring aspects of chemotherapy, apart from the drug’s many side-effects, is waiting for treatment. In effect, many patients are tired before even entering the treatment bed or chair, which is comfortable enough. 

Such waiting likely reflects both an increase in the number of individuals receiving treatment and the fixed number of treatment “stations” available.  At my hospital cancer centre, one day they treated 123 patients; such was a high-water mark, it seems.

The longest I waited was six hours; the least one hour, which was for the last treatment. All this waiting reminds me that humans have a hard time doing so, more so if we don't know how long the wait will be; this is always one of the exasperating aspects of waiting: lack of knowledge of when you will be called in. 

Such reminds me of Samuel Beckett’s 1953 play, Waiting for Godot, a tragi-comedy in two acts, where two characters, Vladimir and Estragon, wait for Godot, who never appears.The play, an absurdest drama, has induced any number of psychological, religious and philosophical interpretations; Beckett never admitted if the play had any meaning, saying the play was symbolic.  That it is. In my estimation, the play is precisely about what Beckett wrote; it’s about waiting, the tiring game of waiting for something, somebody or nothing.

Waiting in itself becomes the central object, the central theme. We spend much our lives waiting; and since humans have a conscious understanding of time, we find the process of waiting a drain of our energies—a paradox of sorts in action—since time is being used, and in our minds, not always in the best way. Waiting defeats the idea of action, of doing something productive. When we wait we are powerless to act in accordance with our full desires, and the power is shifted to the person who can end the waiting.

Perhaps we resent that such individuals have some control over us. Not intentionally, but practically. Or perhaps we are tired of waiting for something to happen. Something good.

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