Being a co-author and personal editor of the author and foreseeing some perplexity, I take some responsibility for the following definition. These are two stories about the war. Not about ordinary war, despite the fact that Comrade Colonel fought enough in his life. On a quiet and personal war. Which can happen to each of us. It happened in our little world. The last two months have not been easy, but, in the language of the military, we have repelled the first blow and are conducting offensive actions in all directions. And the victory will be ours. I really hope for it.
And the observations made by the author, being within the walls of a very specific institution, are not just interesting.
Those who now, after reading the title, indignantly think about how cancer patients have to do with defense issues and in general to the Military Review edition, let me say at once: the most direct! Healthcare for defense means nothing less than weapons production or patriotic education. And maybe more.
Now about the title of the article itself. It is just that human thought is arranged in such a way that the questions of life expectancy, departure from life are always there, beyond the horizon. None of the readers wakes up with the thought of how much he has left. Everyone has plans for today and beyond. Everyone just knows that life is not eternal. Sometime his moon will rise. But while it is beyond the horizon. While the sun is shining. And the horizon of this far. So far that it is impossible to reach.
But it also happens that the horizon itself is approaching man. And a man suddenly realizes that the moon can rise at any moment. Maybe today, maybe tomorrow, and maybe many years later. But the horizon is here. You can touch it with your hand, or, as in my case, see in the picture.
Therefore, publications of this kind are most often written by older people. A sort of instructions to young silly from a wise old man. Young people believe that everything will be fine. Believes to the last. Declare victory over cancer ... And then quietly go.
I do not belong to the youth. Rather, the man is very mature. But for me, the diagnosis was a surprise. How? I have so many plans. So many things left unfinished. So many people are not told about their love, friendship, respect. I did not write about many interesting things.
I often played Russian roulette with a lady with a scythe in this life. So now I will play. My horizon may be much closer than most readers, but I'm on this side for now. And the sun was not replaced by the moon.
Until yesterday, I was a patient of the Clinical Oncologic Dispensary. Behind operation on the right lung. Behind the day of resuscitation. Behind the cyber soldier costume, when the tubes and hoses are mixed with adhesive tape across the chest. Behind the constant help of a vacuum pump for pumping fluid from the lungs.
Ahead? Waiting for further fate. The choice of treatment tactics, test results. Ahead is a big fight with a strong and cruel opponent.
But today I would like to talk about those with whom I had to be in the same trench. About the patients.
In the life of any person there are events that, if not turn life, then thoroughly shake it. And such an event in all patients was a diagnosis made by an oncologist. With all the fears, with snot of relatives and friends, with the hope of error. Then meeting with other doctors. Those who the hell is not a brother. Reckless but surprisingly professional surgeons in their field. With nurses with such a soft iron grip that pit bulls would envy. And at the same time, with the performance of an ant.
During the first three days of treatment, I went through all stages of the birth of an cancer patient.
The first, the most difficult, is to believe what happened. And it happened to you. Probably everyone who has been in such hospitals, they pray in their hearts - God forbid! However, the same thoughts are born in the TB dispensaries, in institutions where AIDS is treated. And our heads laid only one thought. From there, only one road. And this is the last road.
It is with such thoughts that you appear in the waiting room. And there ... Vanity. Someone gives up things. Someone does not give up. Nurses pick up the crew in the next elevator. And not a single mourning person. You know, the paratroopers will understand me better, the state as before a night jump. When the wind is not so, then the board is somewhere stuck, then some other reason. And you sit on the airfield with the only thought: when is it in the sky? And the body for some reason, with short breaks, requires the fulfillment of a small need. Would already be sooner.
The way back, the opportunity to "celebrate a coward" is blocked by a complete female lifter. Which in turn closes the elevator doors, cutting off the possibility of retreat.
The next stage of "birth" - familiarity with partners. Here you immediately see the harsh truth of life. Bald heads of "chemists", tubes and catheters that stick out of the bodies in places completely unsuitable for this. Bandages. "Petrol" on the veins.
And along the corridor, as trains in the subway, carry gurneys. In one direction with those who still have to, in the other - with those who have already passed this round of trials. There are lost people. But on weekdays they are surprisingly few. Sit in wards like snails in shells. Dim look, doom. By the way, this condition occurs for many in the most terrible days of the week - the weekend. The situation in the department then resembles a really graveyard one.
But mostly the sick live. And they want to live. Even the most hopeless, with a 4 degree, live. Probably because they believe in their horizon.
A normal, not sick, man is in a hurry to live too. Each of you. But awareness of the range of the horizon allows you to hurry, without haste. I did not have time today, I will have time tomorrow. Our horizon sharply limits this time. Yes, and the scope of outstanding cases significantly narrows. Horizon eliminates the very concept of small matters. All matters are important!
It is important to tell your beloved about your love and happiness that she brought into your life. It is important to teach your son not to be a rag and a slug. It is important to call some Aunt Mote, who has not seen 20 years. It is important to talk with friends.
It is very interesting to observe the attitude to treatment. People really get treated. Even when they know that it is useless. Everyone understands here - treatment is a struggle for an extra hour, a day, a week of life. Those who stop fighting are leaving. There are almost no simulators here. Came to be treated - agreed to fight. So get well and fight. It is necessary to undergo a painful procedure - go through. Prick "hot" - be pricked.
One of the difficult moments, oddly enough, for many is a meeting with relatives. These meetings are waiting and ... afraid. Firstly, questioning. Tears on eyes. Stretched smiles. Thinking about all these "systems" sticking out of t-shirts. And ... wishes to hold on. To whom? Us? We do not need to convince. Rather, it is necessary to relatives. For them, this blow is not a lesser force. We have learned well where we are and why.
Secondly, attempts to hide the difficulties arising from our illness. It is clear that the transfer with the products and all kinds of medical products cost money. And decent. And our most dear, most beloved have everything in order, no problem.
There is also a third. It is strange to write, but it is mysticism. Or attempts to connect the mystical phenomena with our disease. I will give an example from personal experience.
My dog, the smartest dog of the Sheltie breed, stayed with his wife. And he felt quite comfortable. All love for me was transferred to the soul of a dog. And, accordingly, all the talk, food. Sanatorium, and only. After the operation I got into intensive care and “woke up” only in the morning of the next day. And it was precisely this morning that my dog gave a mourning song at home. Worn with howling around the apartment, did not let anyone to him. And like a wolf howled at the moon. And tears poured from her eyes.
Wife told about it. Imagine her condition? Arrived, so to speak, to say goodbye. But an hour later the dog calmed down. As if nothing had happened. But the telephone receiver was already red-hot from calls. All relatives were harassing the reference clinic. Until you heard the everyday - a state of moderate severity, resuscitation.
Maybe the animals really see the soul? But I, old and mossy already materialist, do not really believe in it. Probably something else was on the dog's mind. But, on the other hand, and my wife believe. She was not even aware of the operation.
The common misfortune brings together much faster than the common joy. And destroys any and all social framework. So in the smoking room, as the doctors do not struggle with this evil, even in the "pulmonary" department, peacefully, and most importantly, understanding each other, speak "painted" camp authority and a university teacher, a simple village man and army officer, director of something there and a simple hard worker. Everyone is equal.
Interestingly, the themes are quite everyday. How to insulate the house. Where to go fishing. Where and what mushrooms were this year. I literally just witnessed a conversation between a strong rural owner and a typical city dweller. Both, to put it mildly, in these systems are "stump stump". But they were talking so enthusiastically that we already heard.
By the way, I even noticed some changes in my conversations. All his life he made decisions himself and defended them to the end. Even then, when it was clear that "nakosyachil." And here, I began to listen to the interlocutor. I began to engage in dialogue. Not two, three, five monologues, as before. Namely dialogue. Disappeared categorical "I know" or "I am sure." Why? I do not know. Yes, and I do not want to know. Just like that here.
And we have very little pity for small children. The fact is that the floor below is the chemotherapy department. "Barber", as we say. And there are not only adults, but also very young children. Just start walking.
It is difficult to write about a one-year-old or slightly older child who is treated with chemistry. It is even harder to write about dad visits for such children. Moms lie with them. The huge hall of the clinic, funny faces of dads, moms, grandfathers, grandmothers. Happy face baby. And everyone knows everything ...
Perhaps this is called to appreciate every moment of happiness. Appreciate and cherish.
Even completely on the horizon, our pity for these children. "We even lived. And they? For what reason?"
It may seem that this is "happiness for show". You know, it happens in humans. It is enough for them to seem what to be. Seem and all. If I were on the other side of the disease, I probably would have perceived these games and fun. But I'm on this side. And I understand that the show is not here. Yes, and parents do not care at all around. They are next to the baby. The baby is happy. This is the main thing. They live every second. It is raining - joy. Snow fell - joy. Even a pigeon that eats crumbs from a hand is a joy.
What impressions did I get in the first days of my stay in the “terrible” hospital? I will try to express in words the thoughts and feelings, what lives in the soul.
1. Here are people who are not going to die. Here are those who live. And he lives more honestly, faster and more fruitfully than the others.
2. We are not sick. We are different. Something happens to the body. No one knows why. And the norm that was established by the "majority of mankind" does not suit us.
3. Together with the body changes and the brain. We are more tolerant. We learned to forgive. We understand that even weakness is a human right.
4. Getting into the new reality, people are clearly divided into fighters and all-propalschiki. As in war. Wrestlers live, the rest live.
5. Even in the most cruel people, unprovoked sentimentality, kindness, love for everything around him wakes up.
These lines were written in that period when I was just looking at my new life. Now something has changed. And in the next, already written part, my story will be about those who treat.
Our government plans to reduce health care costs as well. I have not seen the documents, but reports of almost 35 billion rubles from medicine and education have already leaked to the press. So there was a thought about the very baby that he saw daily with his mother on a walk near the hospital building. And what is it for, gentlemen ministers?