Yesterday I took my FIL to Toronto for his chemo appointment.
It’s such an experience going to Princess Margaret (one of our cancer hospitals) with my FIL. From the moment I walk in the door I feel a change in my being. I feel like I’ve entered another country or planet. There is such quietness. There is the occasional crying out of someone when it becomes too much. There’s a lot of touching here, hand on hand, arm around a shoulder, a pat on the knee, there is comforting and encouraging happening by way of touch. There are many bald heads as you look around. Yesterday as I looked at this gorgeous lady, maybe 6 feet and a bit with a body that … actually I don’t even know about the rest of her… her face captured me. Her baldness seemed like a trophy, like she had pride that she was fighting and fighting hard. Her baldness added to her attractiveness. And her smile. She radiated hope. She mesmerized me.
There are those that are older and should be living their glory years. Yet they are busy fighting for those years. They are usually accompanied by their spouse or child. They tend to shuffle when they walk. They speak a little louder. Their faces seem to say they don’t want it to end this way. So they too, fight.
I hope this is Sanj and I in 35+ years. You could feel their love. You could see their love. It almost made my heart hurt. Imagine their story.
Of course there are those that are so sick, that even moving is painful. I don’t usually see them as they’d be admitted but occasionally I hear a cry out and it makes me shiver. It makes me utter a pray for them. It makes me stop.
Yesterday this chatty and very happy man sat beside us. He beat cancer. He comes for his check up. You could see that he loved this day. He meets his buddy, whom he befriended through his cancer journey. They meet and they chat. It’s a social event. He loves the staff as if they are family. He’s in love with the hospital.
Time seems to stand still in this place. You’re done when you’re done. My FIL’s levels were too low for chemo yesterday. We have to come back. Tuesday. And then again, Wednesday. Since dying isn’t an option, we fight. They help us fight.
This place… it’s a world all unto itself.