A Snap, A Slap and One Last Flush

Today was my final trip to the chemo unit — for one last port-a-cath flush.

To mark the momentous occasion, I snapped this photo. Then that one.

“Mrs. Ross,” someone called. I assumed it was time for my flush. But the receptionist continued, “no photos allowed in the hospital.”

I was stunned.

“No photos in the hospital, Mrs. Ross. It’s hospital policy.”

“My blog’s in trouble,” I ventured, when I’d recovered from the shock. But she didn’t see the humour. Then a feeble, “But it’s my story.”

“Hospital policy.”

At each silence, she kept on:

I have to delete any photos I’ve taken. Pause.
If I want to take photos I need to have “Security” accompany me and approve each one. Pause.
If she called security they’d make me delete them right here and now.


Since I learned of it on May 4, I’ve been hoping to eventually join the hospital’s Community Advisory Committee.

Today’s sweet encounter was the perfect little nudge.

About Andrea

Andrea Ross was diagnosed with breast cancer October 6, 2009 and intends to survive and thrive. You can read more from Andrea here.

  • Nancy

    Seems a ridiculous policy for many reasons and a reasonable one for a couple of reasons. But I definitely think it is something you could bring to their Community Advisory Committee!! When someone’s own story (and in this case, a gift to others) is blocked by OTT policy, its time to re-evaluate.

  • I wonder if it is actually a policy.nnI’ve taken hundreds and hundreds of photos during the 13 months I’ve been in treatment. During tests, during chemo, during appointments. Many including my smiling care-givers. Several taken by smiling care-givers.nNot a single soul questioned itnThere are no signs hinting at such a policy (and there are lots of signs there!)nI couldn’t find any such policy on the hospital website or when I googled the netnnI can understand that they wouldn’t want me intentionally photos of other patients or their hospital records.But no photos at all? People in hospital care are going through major life events and robbing them of the opportunity to record it seems like overkill.

  • janice

    Do they have a maternity ward? So then you can’t take photos of your new baby? You are so right – hospitals are the center of many momentous events. How silly.

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