I will forever have a photo in my mind of Leroy in the chemo room. It rotates with the still frame of him on a gurney, waiting to be rolled into the O-R. I can see him on the radiation bed with that gigantic machine hovering over him. I see him in phlebotomy getting blood drawn and I see him stopped in the hallway at Hopkins by a young couple, who just want to say “thank you” to him for writing his “MY Cancer” blog. These images, and they are in the hundreds, maybe thousands, float through my mind at various times of the day and night. They are a part of me now, just like breathing in and breathing out.
When you’re the care-giver, that’s what you do, you record images of a changed life.
These images are so specific. I see his eyes under the control of the chemo drugs. I see his fist clenched so the blood draw goes smoothly. I see the fatigue in his body as the radiation zaps his strength. The strongest guy in the room, who held up his 6-foot 5-inch frame effortlessly, had met his match.
And yet, I was just the care-giver. He went through this ordeal with fearlessness and determination.
These images will always be a testament to that courage.