During my acute myeloid leukemia (AML) treatment, I sometimes had to wait for an appointment when I came to MD Anderson. Most of the time, it was for very good reasons based on my treatment plan: when I was in active treatment, I had to have my blood tested to make sure my counts were high enough before I got the OK to receive my chemo or go home. Or, if my blood counts weren’t high enough, I’d have to make a trip to the ATC to have a blood transfusion or neupogen shot or something else to get the rest of me healthy enough for us to keep treating the cancer.
When this happened, I obviously didn’t have an appointment. (Who schedules what days they’re going to be low on platelets?) So, I had to wait for the next available opening. After a few years of AML treatment, I feel like my patience has greatly improved.
But even when I became more patient, I still needed a place to go and be patient, and sometimes I just didn’t want to stay in the same waiting room if I didn’t have to.
The good news is that I eventually discovered several spots at MD Anderson where I could go to relax and pass the time.
So here, in no particular order, are some of Gillian’s Good Places To Relax And Kill Time And Maybe Even Take A Nap at MD Anderson.
The skybridge to the Rotary House: There are tables set up for people to eat, do work or just sit and watch the cars go by on Holcombe. If you want to feel a bit like you’re outside without actually going out into the Houston heat, this is a great place to do it.
The Park: My first AML treatments came right around the holidays. When I went for walks with my IV pole, The Park on the second floor of the Main Building was decked out in holiday swag and there were tables set up where you could buy gifts and trinkets. It was fun to browse and people-watch, and I still go back and relax in one of the comfy chairs to see all the hustle and bustle sometimes.
The Patient and Family Center: Volunteers run this center on the second floor of the Main Building between Elevators D and E. You’ll find places to sit, computers and other office equipment to use, books, games, and a segregated napping room with the lights dimmed and recliners with warm blankets. They’ll even put you on their schedule to wake you up when it’s time for your next appointment.
The backside of the Tree Sculpture in Mays Clinic: There are comfy chairs, a soothing water wall, and occasionally someone will sit down at the piano and just play for a while. It’s close to Waterfall Café, too, if you want to grab a snack.
The garden areas near The Star: There are a bunch of outdoor terraces between the Mays Clinic and the Dan L Duncan Building, with picnic tables, lounge chairs and nice views of the green space and gardens at the corner of Fannin and Holcombe. Some of the areas are covered so you can still enjoy the fresh air without worrying about getting sunburned.
These are just a few of my favorite spots to relax, but MD Anderson is full of plenty of others. You can find more information -- and more resources for your time at the hospital -- here.