There’s a radio station in Maryland that does news, sports and weather around the clock and I tune-in as I drive up to Hopkins. Actually it’s the traffic reports that help guide me to the 95 North. So today, being Friday, they do a “Freebie Friday” segment and talk about all the special things that businesses do for customers on Fridays and they talk about weekend events too. They make a big deal about it being Friday; end of the work week, time to relax over the weekend.
And then I get to the Cancer Center, go up the elevator and find myself in the out-patient waiting room. I haven’t been there for quite a while. I look around and my eyes stop at woman with a mask on, very little hair and her hands are swollen. She’s clearly in treatment for her cancer. I watch her for a few minutes and she just stares into space. I can only imagine what her thoughts are because so many of us have had those same thoughts. I continue to look around the room and there’s a woman who looks very healthy, dressed nicely, with the morning paper on her lap. She reads a little and then puts the paper down. She looks at her watch, looks around the room, puts her hand to her chin but that ‘s not comfortable so she picks up the paper and tries to read some more. Being a care giver, waiting, in that room isn’t much better than being the patient. The imagination is a terrible thing to have in a cancer waiting room.
In runs a little boy with his dad not far behind. Mom is the patient and she’s saved a couple of chairs for her son and husband, but the little guy makes a lot of noise, so dad rushes him out before someone complains. As he leaves he kisses his wife because he probably knows she will be in seeing the doctor before he’s able to get his son calmed down. This room has no meaning to the little boy. It has long aisles that are made for running and a lot of chairs that are made for climbing. The cancer in the room, doesn’t play a roll here for the toddler.
So many scenarios playing out on this Friday in the out-patient waiting room. I can’t imagine anyone in here is thinking that it’s the end of the work week or that it’s time to relax or where they can go to get a “Friday Freebie.”
Friday is Friday…a day with cancer, like any other day.