It was the end of a long afternoon of talking about women's health. Cancer was a part of the conversation, but so was aging, memory loss, heart issues, and all things women have to think about as they march through life.
So it was down the elevator and into the cancer center and eventually out to my car.
I've come to the conclusion that nearly everyone who steps into that elevator is looking to connect with someone, anyone, who has a smile and a short conversation available and for just that moment, it's enough of an escape from cancer world.
The woman standing next to me had all the signs of going through treatment. Her hair was very thin, her skin did not have a healthy glow and her eyes still carried the glaze of harsh drugs pumping through her veins.
Another couple stepped in and the doors closed. Three of us wanted to go down to the lobby floor and that's where this elevator was going. The woman realized too late that she was going in the wrong direction....again. She sighed and said, "Not again."
She'd been going up when she wanted to go down, and down when she wanted to go up.
I asked if I could help and she just smiled and shook her head no. She whispered something about chemo and this feeling of being in a fog. Her eyes looked so sad.
When the doors opened to the lobby, we made sure she had directions to where she needed to go, and hit the up button.
The doors slowly closed, but her image stayed with me all the way home.
I can still see those sad eyes.