Another World..

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.

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3 Responses to Another World..

  1. Cynthia Cavalli says:

    It is funny how relative life can be. For those who are well, this life of illness and endless hospital visits feels alien, hope can turn to despair in a moment, with a lab report, or doctor’s decision. But for those who are sick, it is a haven of hope, the chance to keep fighting, stay alive another day, or month, or year. When Joy was sick, we hoped for the chance to have this very life, even though it was a life we never would have dreamed of wanting only months before! How quickly life can turn around. But before this chemo-hospital-visit-life could materialize, she was gone. No more need to fight, the decision had been made for us. In some ways I suppose it saved us. But what we wouldn’t have given for the chance to keep fighting! Your FIL and family are in our prayers xo to all of you.

  2. Reema says:

    Cynthia, so well said. I was thinking of Joy this week. I was thinking of how sad it was that she didn’t get that chance as you said, to fight. I know that God knows best and so we can only assume that He saved her from ugliness that we can’t know.
    Can’t wait to see her again… Love you, Cousin.

  3. Winna Boyce says:

    Reema, all you have said is so relevant in my life just now, although it is happening right here in Peterborough. Life is a gift we come to expect but in the second those 3 words are spoken…”you have cancer”…everything shifts. Life is not taken for granted. You hunker down for the battle. Loved ones know they love and you love right back. It is a gift in a way. A gift of remembering that life is short and to make the most of it.
    Thanks for this blog Reema. Thanks for loving so passionately and sharing this love with us all.

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