“Oscar the porters are here.”
“Thanks Milly. Is there any chance that you could lock my phone in my top draw?”
“I’ll go down to X- ray with you, it will only take about 20 minutes. I do try to go with my patients whenever I can.”
“We’re ready to go. This is just to check the positioning of the central line. I’ll stand behind the screen when we get there and leave you in the hands of our lovely radiographers.”
Milly opened the doors of the small room and glanced at the radiographers. One checked Oscar’s details, while Milly stepped behind the screen.
“Now then Oscar, we’re doing this chest X-ray to make sure that everything’s in the right place. What we need to do is sit you forwards, we’ll help you and then place this board behind your back.”
“That’s it. We’re almost ready. If you can just make sure that you’re lying completely still for us, that would be great.”
“Are you getting a clear image there Sabina?”
“Yes, very. What do you think?” The second radiographer glanced over at the computer images.
“Yes, that’s the position we were hoping for. Doctor Ling has done a fantastic job as always.”
“Would it be possible for me to see the images?”
“Yes of course.” She swivelled the computer screen, so that Oscar could see and pointed at the line. “That’s where the central line goes into your chest .”
“Now then, we can remove this board. If we can just sit him forwards ladies. There we go. I think the porters are outside Milly.”
Milly nodded, poking her head around the outside door. “Yes, they’re here.”
“Oscar I need to do your obs again and administer your first dose of chemotherapy.”
“Oh, I’m sorry I must have nodded off. How long was I asleep for?” Oscar gazed at Milly’s gentle face as she placed the blood pressure cuff around his arm.
“Yes that water seems to have helped. I’m happy with that. Your temperature is still a little bit elevated though.”
“Do I look flushed?”
“Just a little bit. I need to flush the central line, just to make sure that it doesn’t get blocked. We need the chemo drugs to flow through freely.”
“What will you flush it with?”
“Saline, it’s sterile water.”
Milly attentively washed and dried her hands with a small bundle of paper towels. “The good thing about a central line is that we wont have to give you continuous injections.”
“I’d probably end up black and blue!”
“More than likely. Can I just check the details on your identity band. Can you confirm your name and date of birth Oscar?”
Oscar did so.
“Great. Here we go, I’ll just draw the saline up in the syringe. I’m just placing it in now.”
Oscar smiled. “Thanks for explaining everything, it makes it less daunting.”
“All part of my job, the last thing we want to do is keep anyone in the dark.”
“I’m so determined to get better.”
Milly nodded. “I’ve looked after a fair number of people. I’ve always said that a lot of the time it’s mind over matter.”
“Most probably Milly.”
“Now then the chemotherapy drugs going in via the syringe. Just keep completely still, just the last bit now. There all done.”
“That was quick!”
“Yes, it is. Now then, I’ll leave you in peace.”
“I might have a sleep actually.” Oscar glanced at his phone. One missed call. It was Ava. He sighed quickly sending a civil reply of ‘ Hi Ava, please can you call later unless it’s really urgent. I hope you and bump are well. x’ The last thing he needed right now was another earful of abuse from her. Oscar rolled onto his side, pulling the sheet partly over his head to block out the bright strip lights.
“Love, sorry to wake you.”
“It’s lunch time.”
He didn’t feel remotely hungry. Oscar gazed at the small meal on yellow plastic tray consisting of vegetable soup, a strawberry yoghurt and an orange.
“Would you like a tea or a coffee?”
Oscar glanced at the blonde haired woman pushing the tea trolley.“No thanks.”
“There’s also Bovril, hot chocolate and Horlicks.”
“I think I’ll pass and stick to water.”
“Okay, no problem love.”
Oscar dipped the spoon in the soup, cautiously smelling it. It did smell like Heinz. He placed the spoon into his mouth and swallowed. ‘It actually makes it easier not having someone breathing down my neck 24/7 and commenting on what I’m eating.’ He thought, managing to slowly finish the bowlful, taking sips of water in between. He wiped his mouth with the small paper napkin and flopped back onto the pillow. His troubled mind plummeting into a bizarre dream. Ava, what was she doing? She was smiling, she looked so happy, the happiest that she had ever seen in a long time. Wait she wasn’t pregnant, why was that? Oscar’s unconscious mind questioned. She was walking towards him, she wasn’t alone, another figure standing in the shadows. ‘Where’s the baby?’ He asked desperately. ‘You’re no longer pregnant.’
‘Oh that little mutant?’ She laughed. ‘ She’s hideous, I gave her away.’
‘Gave her away! Who to?! I’m her Father! Surely I have rights? She’s my child!’
‘Who says she is? After all who’s to say that you were the one I lost my virginity to?’
‘Call me what you want. You’re lucky that I put the baby up for adoption, I really did consider drowning her.’
Oscar gasped for breath, startling from the dream, deep in a panic, where was he? Where was Ava? Had the baby been born? He gazed across the small ward, one of the nurses glanced up from the nurses station and tapped Milly’s shoulder, she paced quickly to him.
“Oscar? What happened! Are you in pain?”
“No pain at the moment.”
“I think you still have a slight temperature. I’ll turn the fan up. Have a drink of water, there you go.”
“Are you sure that it’s not pain? Chemotherapy shouldn’t raise your temperature.”
“I had a bad dream, I feel a little flustered that’s all.”
“I see. You called out.”
“Oh, sorry. Thank God it’s the afternoon! I hope I didn’t wake anybody.”
To be continued….