Last week, I went right from vacationing in Vermont to chemo at Mass General. My family dropped me off on the way home from a week that included skiing, Jay Peak’s new indoor water park, Ben & Jerry’s, hanging with family and good friends, and lots of maxing and relaxing.
If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that going to chemo isn’t nearly as bad as it sounds but I was somewhat disappointed when my dedicated chemo nurse, Nurse J, was tied up with another patient. Besides the fact that she’s an awesome nurse and human being, Nurse J hooks me up with a private room for chemo. When you don’t have a private room, you are placed in one of the common chemo infusion areas. Yes, the common areas do have uber-comfortable reclining chairs and personal televisions but it’s just not the same as a private room and all the VIP-ness that comes with it.
However, the common areas have their own special secret quality that only visitors and employees know about. And now you can know, too.
It’s the view.
First, there’s the mundane yet beautiful aspect of the view. Stunning views of the Charles River and Cambridge. And then there’s the secret aspect of the view: the Liberty Hotel.
I have had one other chemo treatment in a common area without Nurse J and one of the first things my substitute nurse told me to do was check out the windows of the Liberty Hotel, a posh place where visiting out-of-town sports teams stay. She said it was like its own TV show. Actually, she used the word “porn.” And this is because through the expansive windows of the Liberty Hotel, well-healed guests have no idea that their prancing is often in full view of chemo patients who have nothing to do but sit and look at things for hours on end.
Like many people, I am a voyeur, so I was very excited to learn this information. I spent a lot of time checking out those windows and watching people do boring stuff with their clothes on. But then I got lucky and saw a dude on a lower floor completely in the buff doing things like sit a desk, stand up, and talk on the phone. He was kind of paunchy and presumably middle-aged but it was still exciting. Naked person! Naked person! Naked person! I felt like I was 12 years old all over again.
Hopefully you and your loved ones will never need chemo but if you ever find yourself in the common chemo area of MGH, just know you’ll never be bored with the view.