Tassia Haines – METUPUK (Wales) member, patient advocate & fantastic artist.
Back in February, I had to go into hospital after side effects from being on Trodelvy. I wanted to capture the feeling of being ‘invisible’ on a cancer ward while the world goes by.
I hope you enjoy them and the vivid memories they evoke.
(Blue) “Am I able to have some paracetamol and codeine now please?”
The tranquillity of the sunrise disrupted by the rattling trolleys, swishing disposal aprons and the shrill voices of the health workers starting their day. My favourite thing to do on the ward was to watch the first light in the dead silence before everyone woke up. During breakfast, I liked to watch the cars fill up the parking spaces, people would beep, argue and struggle to park. It was entertaining and pointless.
(Orange) “We are a big family, but a private one”
This one was inspired by ‘Bev’. She was newly diagnosed, and couldn’t lie down. She was bedbound, but would sit hunched and small, taking up very little space. Her really bad cough would be muffled at night to not disturb us. Her phone never rang, and her days were spent in this position, breathing heavily with her eyes closed. ‘Bev’ was a kind soul, but wanted to be left alone.
(Red) “Please… Just make me feel better or leave me die”
Pushed to the absolute brink, hair falling out in clumps, getting sicker with no clarity and being jabbed, pulled about until driven to breaking point, with no familiar face to cry too. This was my worst point, 0.0 WBC and pre blood transfusion, 40c temp, burning nose, throbbing bones, sore throat and mouth, dehydration and light sensitivity.
(Green) “Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep. Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding”
‘Lorrie’ was bed bound and was stuck in this position, her machine kept going off because they cannulated her in the crease of her arm and the pressure kept blocking the line. She often had her eyes closed and was very quiet, ironically due to her machine she became the loudest on the ward. I shared a cake with her, she smiled.