He saw me from afar, and walked towards me. He said
"We are leaving tomorrow for home". I was taken aback, because they
had wanted to go home for so long (overseas) but had stayed here for her (his
wife) to get treatment here for her metastatic pancreatic cancer the past year.
He gave me a peck on my cheek and thanked me for all I've done. I saw her
coming up towards us, with tears coming down her face. Tears from a heavy
heart, as she will be leaving us behind. I smiled at her "I'm so happy
you're going home. These are good tears". Then, she looked at me, and we
hugged, and I gave her a kiss on her cheek.
My memory flashed back to how I've
come to know and care for this lovely old couple. It started out with her husband
making a call to the emergency line (us fellows), to seeing them regularly in
my continuity clinic, to caring for her when she was hospitalized twice in a
month, to spending time with them whilst she was in the hospital helping them
understand this disease and the road blocks this disease brings during the
course of treatment til this very day- the day they came to visit to say
goodbye before they flew home for good.
My own heart was heavy from saying
goodbye, but I think we'll be keeping in touch It's been such a pleasure to
care for her (them) and it's a good feeling, forging such a wonderful
relationship with your patient and their loved ones. I wish them all the very