The man was a total stranger. I could tell just by looking at him, he’d spent many days up at the cancer center, probably standing by a loved one, feeling helpless but knowing it was important to be there. When I spotted him, he was on his cell phone just a few feet away from where I was sitting. He couldn’t sit down, he was very nervous and very anxious. His fingers were tapping on the window ledge. I’m sure he didn’t even realize he was doing that.
Then, under his breath, I could hear the words. AGRESSIVE. SPREADING. CT-SCANS. NO MORE RADIATION. CHEMOTHERAPY. NOT DOING WELL.
Cancer’s vocabulary stumbling out of his mouth, as he tried to stay calm but clearing having to break the bad news over the phone.
We’ve all used these same words at some point in our fight with this disease. They signal the end of the battle many times. How I felt for this man. He was hurting beyond the words.