ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

At the Oncology Ward

Updated on July 18, 2017

Ward 48 - Public Hospital

Ward 48 is a suspiciously serene place.

In the day, you hear a consistent flow of work chatter, sound of wheels rolling by the corridors and light steps of the people all the time. No one is especially loud in this ward, whether in tears, laughter or anger.

Most of the patients here are coping with symptoms of advanced cancer, coupled with side effects of chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy. There are six patients in this room of the ward and all of them are sleeping most of the time. It looks so peaceful that you forget fatigue is one of the symptoms of stage 4 cancer.

Occasionally, a patient will try initiate talk with the others but that usually ends quickly. Organs are failing and the bodies are in the process of shutting down. Energy for having conversations are reserved for loved ones.


Pain Management

Pain will be the least of a patient's worries because he/she gets an endless supply of Fentanyl or morphine. These pain relief doses are so powerful that it will probably knock a normal person out once the effect kicks in. But to the patients, it can help them to:

1) move and speak normally;

2) sleep peacefully;

3) maintain dignity while confused or dizzy

And when they suddenly open their eyes, it is usually because they need to vomit, pee, poo, or the nurses tell them that they are going to change their dressing, take their blood pressure, etc. Some cry every time they vomit. Others try to stretch their hands or shuffle around the bed in those moments they are awake.

The Nurses

The nurses are amazing in this ward. They smile gently even for the most difficult patients. At times, they cannot help it but try to correct a confused patient that the blood pressure and blood glucose levels are not the same. If the patient is willing, they chat with them when they can too. More often then not, they are being questioned why they didn't respond to the patient's call of the button fast enough.

Thankfully, majority of the patients will try keep their cool and not lash out at the nurses.

Just another day

On occasions where you see a patient pushed out of the room on their bed, it's usually for scans and checks. All eyes of those awake will fall upon him/her while the patient being wheeled out will just close his/her eyes.

A happy patient gets discharged and go home with a box filled with packets of Resource nutrition drink and a big bag of medical supplies. She recommends another patient to use Vaseline for her dry lips and ginger candy to neutralise the metallic taste in her mouth.

Suddenly, a group of young doctors gather at a bed and speak in urgent tones. Nurses swamp in with machines and someone kind enough will draw the curtains for privacy. Family, friends, or loved ones appear thereafter and the crowd disperse as suddenly as it appeared - together with the patient. Few hours later, a new patient enters the room.


Some patients have a battalion of visitors throughout the day. Some have their loved ones with them a few hours everyday. Others are mostly alone all the time with 1 or 2 visitors every other day. Children are seldom seen in this ward.

Meal times

Meal times are supposed to be most joyful. The aroma of the food fills the air. Patients get a normal adult portion size, served soft, full, finely chopped or finely minced. Most cannot finish their food and it's thrown away. Some left their food untouched. Someone forgot if she had eaten and asked why she is given food again. I wonder why they don't give a smaller serving.

And that, are random afternoons at the Oncology Ward

© 2016 Yvonne Teo


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)