Thursday, June 3, 2010

Moments of solitude in hospital corridors

City of Hope is one of the world's largest and most renowned cancer research and treatment centers. On any given hour of virtually any day, thousands of people are walking through or waiting in these vast corridors. Yesterday, I was one of them.

Yes, this was the latest of numerous trips to the hospital, this was the first trip in which I had this solitary thought: "I had cancer. I do not have it now."

My reason for visiting the hospital was to receive an infusion of immunoglobulin, a periodic treatment that helps to boost my immune system and increase my chances for long-term remission.

But while waiting for this appointment in the hospital corridor outside of the infusion center, in proximity I noticed two couples in silence and expectation.

Seated to my far left was a slightly woman resting her head on her husband's shoulder while trying to doze amid the sounds and clatter of passersby. And closest to me was a young Hispanic woman in a wheel chair to which was att
We are all sentenced to solitary confinement
The title of this article is a paraphrase of something Tennessee Williams wrote: "We are all sentenced to solitary confinement inside our own skins, for life." By solitary confinement he was referring to the cage or prison called loneliness. Loneliness and aloneness are not the same. Aloneness is a state of being, while loneliness is a state of mind. We all know people who live alone and are perfectly happy. Yet, the opposite is also true. There are people who, despite their families and friends, have a gnawing feeling of loneliness that eats away at them. They feel disconnected from the world and usually suffer in silence.

Written by Chuck Gallozzi
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