I accompanied my mother, who is a cancer survivor, to the hospital today. Like many cancer patients and survivors, she has a port, a surgically implanted venous access device (VAD) that provides long-term access to a major vein, which helps for infusion chemotherapy and blood transfusions. The thing about a port is that it has to be flushed with heparin every 30 days. Takes only a few minutes, but it has to be done to prevent the cath from becoming occluded. So, today was my mother's appointment. We went to the hospital. As my mother's port was being handled, a family arrived: father, mother, grandmother, and a small child who must have been five or six years old. The child was the patient. (Quite often, the entire family accompanies the cancer patient to the hospital. It helps all of them cope.) They had brought the child for her port maintenance. Except that they had been given an appointment for last Wednesday. They were coming several days later.
"Why didn't you come earlier," scolded the nurse in charge. "Haven't I told you how dangerous it is to delay the port maintenance?"
The family looked distressed. "We're coming from Ulhasnagar. Our house was flooded. Everything was flooded...Kaise aate?" said the father apologetically, while the women chimed in with soft murmurs, looking anxiously at the nurse. As if begging her to reassure them that it was still all right.
They were both right.
The child waited patiently, looking only a little bewildered.
I wonder how many lives have been affected, and in how many hard ways, by last week's downpour.
(Cross-posted in IW)