The Infusion Clinic: Where Children Seek Care and Comfort

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Zai getting ready to receive chemotherapy with her sky-blue silk hat and neon blue Crocs.

There is something odd, yet beautiful in the infusion clinic air this morning. The smell of antiseptic masked by the scent of my lavender and chrysanthemum aroma stick fills a place that I know all too well. What it means is that today, a hundred or so sick kids will enter the clinic for another chance at life. To many, the clinic is seen as a chaotic system of nurses, doctors, machines, and children receiving medication that appears to do more harm than good. But for patients, the infusion room gives a sense of belonging and acceptance. 

I recall the time when I first entered the clinic. The sight of bags filled with chemotherapy and saline merging like the confluence of a toxic river fed into children’s bodies, the inscrutable mixture of laughter and crying, and the scent of “get well” flowers, made me hesitant to accept my new reality. But no matter how much I denied it, I knew, from the bottom of my neon blue Crocs, that I had no choice but to accept my diagnosis. The nurse, dressed in lemon-colored scrubs and dark purple marbled clogs, told me everything would be alright. Now I see why. Beyond the hisses of pain, sights of children being poked with needles, and questionable smells of hospital food, a feeling of comfort, acceptance, and hope filled the air. 

Now, sounds of laughter and cheer are heard down the hall in the resource room, a space filled with colored pencils, glitter, singing, Nintendo switches, and pure joy on pale faces, providing a safe haven in an unpredictable world. ”

— Amelia Zai

Now, sounds of laughter and cheer are heard down the hall in the resource room, a space filled with colored pencils, glitter, singing, Nintendo switches, and pure joy on pale faces, providing a safe haven in an unpredictable world. Soon enough, happiness will fill the infusion room like golden rays of sunlight peeking into a dull room, providing warmth and a gentle glow as small children return to their infusion chairs with games, art projects, and smiles on their faces. 

It’s a funny sensation knowing that the kids that you are surrounded by aren’t that much different from you. In a world where it’s easy to feel isolated, it’s comforting to see kids who are also fighting their own battles. They face the same judgment on the streets that I do. They spend their days sitting in chairs for seven never-ending hours just like I do. They purchase sky-colored silk hats downstairs in the gift shop, just as I do. But, despite the eight different pills they take twice a day and constant lack of energy, they have just as much support as I do. And although we may be facing different battles, at least we’re doing it together. Hand-in-hand.