The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke

Family Scrapbook | A Patient's Patience by David M. Bailey            David M. Bailey

"Just wait here please. . . Someone will be right with you . . . Take a seat in the lounge . . . We’ll call you . . . He’ll be right here . . . A nurse will come . . ."

Have you ever waited so much in your life as when you go to the hospital? The hours seem to crawl by as if they don’t ever want to get where they’re going—especially when you’re waiting for information. 

Here are some little tricks I’ve been using in my trips to Duke over the past three years:

Take a cheap, thin paperback novel and cram it in your pocket or purse. You never know when you’re going to have to sit down for 5, 10, or 15 minutes. Rather than agonizing over the minutes, just pull out the novel and bury yourself in the story. Not too buried, though! One time, I missed my appointment because I was engrossed in my book! If you can’t read very well, take a walkman and rent some books on tape.

Get a stack of postcards from your hotel or drugstore and jot down some thoughts to friends you haven’t written to in a long time.

If the weather is nice, take a long walk around the lake in the Duke Gardens. They are right behind the clinics and there are few places on earth as pretty or peaceful.

Take a stroll across campus to Duke Chapel—a magnificent cathedral, filled with awe-inspiring stained glass. You may be lucky enough to hear an organ concert or practice session while you’re there. Be sure to go up the Duke Chapel tower for a stunning view of the entire area.

Look around and find someone who appears to be worse off than you. Talk to that person. You will usually walk away inspired by their strength.

The food courts in Duke Clinic South and Duke Hospital North each have a fabulous coffee bar. Grab a cappuccino and make a new friend.

Visit one of the bookstores on campus. You can find lots of groovy gifts and garb! The Medical Center bookstore is located midway on the walkway between Duke Clinic South and Duke Hospital North. The Gothic Bookshop and the Duke University Bookstore are both located in the Bryan Center—just beyond Duke Chapel. Cokesbury Bookstore, where you can find lots of inspirational materials, is located on the ground level of the Divinity School, next to Duke Chapel. 

Hang out in The Brain Tumor Family Learning Center, located in the office area of The Brain Tumor Center at Duke, 047 Baker House, Duke Clinic South. The room is designed for families to learn and have fun together. Our kids loved it!

Remember it’s not about killing time. It’s about spending it.


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Hopeful Resources



Maintaining hope is not always easy. In times of crisis, you may need extra support and encouragement from your family, your health care team, and other survivors of brain tumors. Here are some resources that may help you maintain a positive outlook.