A little earlier than announced I was picked up from the nursing room, bed and all. Dear friend was allowed to walk up to the doors of the OR complex. In the elevator, looking in the mirror, we both thought of a selfie that my love once had once taken through the same mirror, when he too was taken to the OR in a hospital bed. He was then given a nerve block to counteract the severe pain attacks caused by pancreatic cancer. In that photo I am standing next to his bed.

At the holding, the preparation room for the OR, an operating assistant introduced himself to me with the same first name as my love and therefore received a full smile from me. While waiting for the surgeon, I chatted with the team in the OR about innovations in healthcare and we forgot the time. As a result, he had to wait for us again until I was well positioned on the table.

Back in the nursing room, my new scar was inspected. I had already been able to imagine it for half a year and in my fantasy it had taken on anything but beautiful forms. Happy and very relieved about the result, possibly also a bit euphoric from the painkillers, I chatted a bit later to my visit. It was done, I had taken another hurdle. One more night to recuperate and possibly go home tomorrow.

My roommate needed to talk to me that night, and I was soon surprised to discover that she had recently been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She discovered that I knew more than average about it and was happy with the tips I could give her. Suddenly her pain increased and I had the nurses alerted, aware of what might happen. It was already too late: she started to spit up, forced to let everything go, and lay writhing and moaning in pain. Like just a few years ago, I sprang into action, trying to comfort, and counting the minutes until the pain relief finally started working. Powerlessness and raw memories pounded inside me – against my brand new scar.

In the hallway I waited for the nurses to help her and told them why I cried.

I’m a pirate-with-special-needs. One that has recently learned thanks to many lovely people that it can be important to indicate what you need. I had a wonderfully peaceful night in another hospital room, all to myself. Now home again.