During the past few weeks, I've thought a lot about the people who have come into my life during this cancer journey. Some of them I have gotten to know through blogging, some through other cancer patients, and some I met at the Cancer Center. Each one has made a difference in my life in some way, whether it be through an encouraging card, a hug, a note, a gift, or by just being there. Last night, I thought about one person in particular --- her name is Teresa!
If you were a patient at this particular cancer center, you would have met Teresa on your very first visit. I remember that day so vividly, as it was NOT the happiest day of my life, believe me! I walked in the big, double glass doors, and went to the counter where the sign-in clip board was waiting for me. I signed my name, and put the pen down, and went to find a seat in the big waiting room. I noticed a blond gal open the glass window and reach for that sheet and cross my name off with a yellow marking pen. I later found out that her name was Teresa.
If you have been to one of these waiting rooms, you will know that these are not pleasant places. In fact, I was very much aware of the fact that no one made eye contact, no one talked with each other, and most looked very sick and miserable and in their own little world. And this with much reason to be this way. After all, they were all fighting for their lives, and I'm sure some were losing the battle. So. . . you would sit there and stare at your shoes until the big, heavy door opened and some cheerful, bright-eyed nurse called your name and you disappeared into the treatment part of the building.
I never had any other contact with Teresa during those first visits. I just knew she was there. . . until . . .
About half way through my treatment, I walked in for an appointment and there was a big desk in the waiting room. This was going to be Teresa's new place to work. After that day, she was always there at this desk, had her computer set up there, and was always busy doing something --- sorting mail, answering questions, checking on people's appointments, etc. At first, she seemed quiet, but pleasant. But I noticed as I came back time after time that things were changing in the waiting room. Teresa was beginning to know everyone by their first names and greeted each of us as we came in the door. She always asked how we were doing, remember something about us and engaged us in conversation. I know I immediately felt at ease with her, and soon was laughing and sharing stories about our growing up, etc. The whole atmosphere in the waiting room changed, and I noticed others more talkative and alive. It was no longer the waiting room for Heaven!
When I started radiation and had to go every single day, I actually looked forward to seeing Teresa. One day, I mentioned that I was soooooo very tired of wearing the "chemo hats" to cover my head. She asked if my hair was growing and I said yes, and whipped off my hat at that moment to show her. Her reaction was just so nice and encouraging that I never put it on again. I went home, dug out my make up, and decided I was going to be a woman again from that day on! Thank you, Teresa!!!
You know, I wonder if people really realize what an impact they make on a person's life! You don't have to be a doctor, or a chemo nurse to change someone's day! In fact, I probably had more contact with this one gal than I did with anyone else at the cancer center, and I always went away feeling a little more light hearted and encouraged because of her. I would have to say that someone saw something in her and knew that the best use of her talents would be right there in the waiting room where she could interact with patients when they first came in. Smart move!
I don't know what others saw when they looked at her --- just another employee? a receptionist? someone to answer questions? someone to open the mail? Somehow I remember looking at her closely one day ------ and I'm sure I saw wings!!!
Someday I'll Know!
They come and go, more quickly than
I'd really like, you know.
Sometimes I know their names,
But mostly, when I'd least expect,
Sometimes they hug me tight,
Silent, but so loving as I cry.
And I go on again,
Strengthened when I thought
I'd only die.
Sometimes they rush into my life,
Bumping me, pushing,
And I see another way.
It's only when they're gone,
And the light from their fair lantern
I wonder, where I would have been
Are these chance meetings - fate -
or can it be
These are the angels God has promised me?
Are these friends - or angels - is it so?
Maybe not today,
Someday, I'll know!