Husband drives me to hospital. It’s next door to the University I did my degree and ultimately my PhD. I wasn’t prepared for how emotional I’d feel about going back. It took me 10 minutes in the car park and an industrial strength coffee to get my tears fully under control. Deep breath. Cue thoughts of my youth, my hopes, my academic career… Cue further thoughts of friends who’d been ill in that hospital and subsequently died (of cancer but years later) and a professor who was so bright that simply being in the same room as him was one of the highlights of my career, who died in his prime…
More deep breaths. Is is really this hard to come back? Am I not over losing my academic career? I’ve never dared to mourn it, simply tried to get on with life and keep busy. It’s such a deep gaping wound, a black hole of pointless negative energy that if I look into it it may well just swallow me whole. I can’t afford that, we have more important things to deal with than me contemplating my academic navel.
Husband is being amazingly understanding. He has cancer. I just have a possible cancer and here I am falling apart because we’re standing next to my old university.
Am I getting upset about the University because it’s somehow safer than facing the possibility of cancer? I honestly don’t think so. Right now facing up to the loss of my academic self is more painful than the possibility of cancer. It’s like part of me has already died anyway.
So maudlin! I have ‘died’ inwardly many times but so far I’m still here so God must have a plan for me. If I stop contemplating old wounds I may actually be able to see it 🙂 . Man up time. We stride into the hospital. I get lost. I misread a ‘straight on’ for an ‘up’ arrow. Impressive navigation skills. I find seminar rooms – must be subconsciously looking for teaching rooms 🙂 .
Back downstairs. Husband sighs understandingly and leads the way. To the actual ward I am supposed to be admitted to. We both misread something for ‘lymphoma’ en route …
The staff are very relaxed on the ward. Since I’m not actually ill, just being admitted the day before the procedure, we’re told I can go for a walk in the sunshine. Yeahy.
We arrive back on the ward at 5.30 to find I’ve missed supper. They kindly offer sandwiches but I can’t cope with all that soggyness and mayonnaise so I set to eating food from my holdall and Husband heads home. It’s been a long day for him.