Elizabeth (patient)

View of a footpath over fields with blue sky

I wouldn’t normally use the main entrance at the hospital but I had seen a notice about National Poetry Day on the screen in the oncology waiting room. I had a couple of appointments that day and knew I would have a gap.

I was given the Clive James postcard and there was a nice synergy as he was a lawyer by training and so am I. There was poetry around when I was growing up - my mother read poetry to us as kids and now she has lost her sight it has been reversed and I am reading to her. The Emergency Poet invitation really gripped my imagination. I appreciated her very carefully crafted questions – it enabled you to say as much or as little as you wanted to and that was very important. I chose to view it as a patient currently going through chemotherapy. I am only part way through a very long haul. When I left last Thursday I had the anti-emetics prescribed by my oncologist and the poems prescribed by Deb. She gave me 5. She also asked me my drink of choice – normally this would be a glass of wine or malt whisky but chemo plays havoc with flavour so at the moment it is ginger cordial. Deb has written on the poems ‘To be taken with a ginger cordial, sit outside and listen for a new sound’.

In fact on Saturday the weather was lovely so I took the poems and the cordial for walk to just off the Icknield Way which is near me. This a photo I took there this time last year. The poems came with me yesterday to chemo; and I will file them in my medical file so I can bring them in and out as I choose.

It was a delightful experience and was just at the right time.
Elizabeth (patient)