At the Proton Centre

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A poem by Ruth Munglani

Editor’s note: At a recent Wednesday patient luncheon, 22-year-old Ruth Munglani shared a poem she wrote to commemorate her proton graduation day. She had spent several months in Jacksonville having proton therapy for Ewing sarcoma and has returned to her home in the U.K. We thank Ruth for the opportunity to publish her work.

 

When lying asleep in the depths of my chemo,

The doctor popped into my room.

She beamed at me and patted my shoulder,

‘You’ll be going to America soon.’

 

‘America? Why would I go there?’ I replied,

I looked at her with dismay.

My friends, my family, my whole life was here,

All I wanted to do was stay.

 

The doctor explained to my chemo-addled brain

About protons and all of that.

To be honest, I wasn’t really listening to her,

I got distracted by the fact

 

That America was so very far away;

Across an entire ocean.

And that I would have to spend a few months there

Getting some form of radiation.

 

The day for the flight dawned bright and early,

I woke up filled with dread.

More treatment abroad was not appealing,

I pulled the blankets over my head.

 

The first few days were stressful for my mum;

She cried on the I-95.

The speed limit, it appeared; merely a suggestion,

We were glad to get home alive.

 

But the protons really have been fine.

I hop up on the bed and relax,

Listen to the chatter and the music,

What would make it perfect: some snacks.

 

We have enjoyed our down time too,

Lots of trips to the beach and the sea.

One thing though I am looking forward to:

A good old English cup of tea.

 

I’ve made some really good friends since I’ve been here;

People who smile and care,

Who stop and ask ‘How’s your day going?’

A sense of community is shared.

 

There have been many memorable moments,

Expressions like ‘Happy Friday’ and ‘Y’all’,

But mostly I’ll remember the kindness of everyone

And the little things, however small.

 

And now at last it is ending.

I find myself sad to go home.

It has felt like a holiday being here,

Full of friends, never alone.

 

So thank you to all who have made it

A truly wonderful experience for us.

Treatment has never been so positive.

I think you’ve got it sussed.

About This Newsletter

The Precision Newsletter is an electronic-only publication that is distributed by email. Each issue is sent monthly to patients, alumni patients and friends of the University of Florida Health Proton Therapy Institute. As the official newsletter of the Institute, the content is compiled and prepared by our communications representative and approved by the editor Stuart Klein, executive director of UF Health Proton Therapy Institute. Special bulletin newsletters may occasionally be prepared when timely topics and new developments in proton therapy occur.  We will make every effort to remove your name from the list. If you would like to send a Letter to the Editor, please click here.

 

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