Yesterday while sitting at the Cox Building I talked to a woman I had seen there a few times before. It is so funny that we are all there at the same time every day and most days it is perfectly silent everyone in their own little worlds ~ I imagine they are all pretending they are somewhere else... Even work :-) The funny part about this is the silence isn't among the patients. THEY have learned to live like they are dying (great song) they talk, they smile, they laugh... It's the people who love them and bring them and sit in that waiting room while radiation tries to reverse or shrink or stop some evil twist of fate. We sit there and we pretend to do yarn crafts (a favorite among most) or read the paper, or zone out... But really we sit there and we pray that the miracle is happening as we wait. We ask God to save our loved one.
But then every once in a while you see it... The beginning of camaraderie. A little sunshine brought in among the clouds. And yesterday I was a part of that. A woman was sitting diagonally across from me and asked what I was making... I was looming a sock. She thought it was really cool and moved over to sit next to me to see it. We talked, she is bringing her friend who has thyroid cancer, I bring mom who has brain and lung cancer. Her friend's prognosis looks good. We chatted a bit about the wonderfulness of Mass General Hospital (it really is a great place and they make mom feel like she is their only concern ever) how it feels to have someone you love sick, the weather, work, and socks. When her friend came back she was so happy that we had chatted and that we both weren't sitting there lonely... Both of the patients will be there for 6 weeks of daily radiation. This is aggressive therapy that these two women are enduring, yet they both smile with class through it all. I have learned a lot from all of this. You can make up your mind how you live but not how LONG you live. For my mom and this other lady they have chosen to enjoy the moments... And I have chosen to make socks for them because I can't do more than pray and wrap their feet in warmth and hope.