As I've said elsewhere in this section, I liked drawing big family groups. I've long lamented that since the takeover of our local arts centre, the drop-in lifedrawing class has not returned, and I miss drawing people from life. Chemo turned out to be a great replacement - with the added bonus that I could challenge myself by drawing whole groups, and trying to capture the mood and dynamics of them.
Some families - usually new to the centre - sat stiffly, and were quick to jump up out of the way when the nurses came over, certain that they were in the wrong place. As they got used to TYA, though, they'd slouch more in their chairs, spread their things out more, and make themselves at home.
Sometimes, kids would be more animated in the early cycles, and sit up talking with their parents; as time went on, though, they'd be more and more inclined to sleep, and the parents would chat softly between themselves, or start a conversation with the family in the next pod. (This was how I came to know some of the families in TYA, and yet hardly ever spoke to my fellow patients.)
Other kids would come in sleepy, limping, and even uncooperative, not wanting to eat or drink - but as treatment began to take hold, they would sit up, show more interest in their surroundings, and begin to talk with their families. You could sense the parents breathing a sigh of relief when this happened.