Fears and consequences

by Hilla Duka

Flowers in the hospital

The past week I’ve spent in the hospital, in the oncology part that I fear the most. Why was I there? Because I let fear take over my decisionmaking.


A week ago I finally gave up trying to pretend I only had acid reflux and headed to the emergency room, with what turned out to be an inflamed esophagus. A week I was there, hoping that maybe tomorrow I’ll get to go home, maybe tomorrow I could drink something, be in less pain. It was a week of no eating or drinking, anything. Of pain, fever, inflammation and infection, of longing and missing and hoping.

lovely flowers from my coworkers!

It turns out I’m allergic to one of my daily medicines, one I opted for taking as a pill every day rather than have to go in once every three weeks to get as a shot. Because I didn’t want anything that reminded me of doing chemo. My fear of chemo put me in the one place I fear the most, the oncology section.


Apart from how I hate being ill and stuck in a hospital (I actually went into a nervous fit when the nurse I spoke to on the phone said I would have to be committed!) it's been interesting and horrible to see how my absence has affected the kids. I saw them several times, and was even home for an afternoon, and it was subtle but a definite difference in how the kids behaved, the family feeling not really at a high. 


I missed the sensation of water flowing down my throat. I missed eating. I missed being home with my kids, and I missed taking pictures...At night I dreamt about snapping amazing photos, marvelling at the quality of my own pictures, at the sheer luck of being in the right place at the right time. Only to wake up and realise I never took those photos, that I was stuck in a boring and uninspiring room, staring at my own feet and a gray wall. It was a horrible week, one I hope I never have to live through again.

I hope that I will remember not to let fear rule my decisionmaking in the future, and I hope I can remember a bit of how grateful I feel right now, to be home with my kids, to be able to drink some water, eat on my own again. Truly, I'm so thankful to be home, and on the mend again!

Our cat Aidan about to leap


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