Archie took a break last night. I fretted. In the middle of the night, I crept down the stairs to look for him. He met me halfway, to let me know that he was around, just not on my bed. He’d been hunting. Now, he was checking up on the rest of the family. It makes sense. My treatment has started. The journey has begun.
My next step was to go back to Vincent Pallotti and have monitoring clips inserted in amongst the big C cells. As my late mum’s vintage Volvo wound its way over Constantia Nek and towards Pinelands, I wondered about the procedure. How long would it take? How would they do it? The possible pain was do-able, as long as it was moving me in the right direction.
Vincent Pallotti’s waiting rooms are pristine. State of the Art equipment is around every corner and the medical team are top drawer. An atmosphere of competency and caring soothes me. I’m early, so I have a chance to absorb my surroundings and fellow travellers. A granny has her sick grandson in her lap. An elderly patient and his carer are sharing a joke. A young family are gathered in the corner. When their doctor appears, the husband escorts his burka-clad wife down the passage, while his daughter takes the opportunity to pinch her twin brother. I notice the anxious young man wiping a tear from his cheek as he sits down again. His son tries to take his hand, but the little girl is having none of it. She wedges herself in and claims her father.
It’s my turn and I undress in a little cubicle. The pale pink gown is familiar to me now and a nurse escorts me to the right room. Soon, we are joined by a handsome young doctor, who says little but radiates love and kindness. I watch the needles going in, placing first the one and then the other clip in amongst the big C cells, the ones that shouldn’t be there, the ones I am impatient to be rid of. My determination overrides any fear and I watch the screen as if it is someone else’s movie. And in what seems like a few minutes but is in fact over thirty, the procedure is complete.
At home, Xena our rescue dog is waiting anxiously. She’s been avoiding eye contact up until now. I’m pleased to see her tail wag again. Perhaps she is convinced that I’m doing the right things. Archie is still prowling the neighbourhood. He’ll be back to see what’s cooking on the stove. Dinner time is his favourite. If he doesn’t join me tonight, I’m going to take it as a good omen.