There I was, pacing the floor…walking off and measuring the squares of flooring, counting how may it took to reach the far wall. Leroy was in the room, sitting on the exam table, waiting for the doctor to come in for a consult. It could have been about scan results, blood tests, or a new course of treatment.
What it was, was a flashback from a time a few years ago when that would have been a regular day for us. We were living in cancer world. Now, it was in my minds’ eye, as I stood outside that exam room yesterday, watching a couple, not that different from what we were like then, waiting for their results.
I was there as an observer, working on a project at Johns Hopkins, but I must admit, some of those old anxious feelings came back to haunt me.
I looked into the eyes of the woman who was waiting to hear what her scans revealed and I saw the first signs of how cancer had already changed her world. Just the anticipation of hearing those words “You have cancer,” had already started to work their way into her psyche.
Her caregiver, the man in her life, tried so hard not to give-in to his worry. His hand on her shoulder gave her strength. But, there came a time, when both of them couldn’t stand the stress anymore and they just held on to each other, hoping it would all go away.
This scene was most likely played out in the next room and in the next room after that one. It’s what happens in cancer centers everywhere, every day.
I remember, just like it was yesterday.