They sat together near the nurses station down in radiation oncology, holding hands.  He was holding on tightly with his right hand because his left hand was busy.  It was holding a long, thin needle attached to a lot of plastic tubing that was plugged into multiple bags of chemo and anti-nausea drugs and saline solution.  The pump was sending some combination of those things into his body, one drip at a time.

But he had a smile on his face. His eyes weren’t clear, but they still held a shadow of the twinkle that he must have had when he was a healthier man.  The were talking to their oncologist who was a friend of mine. He had been one of Leroy’s doctors.

They were willing…wanting to share their story.  It’s been a long, difficult cancer road, with many treatments, surgeries, etc.  But they had such hope in their words.  He would be getting more radiation for his condition and that was OK with him because it meant there was a still chance that the cancer would slow down, maybe even find a place to hide for a while so he could get back to living. 

His wife was the voice of reality among the three of us.  She didn’t have to say the words, because her voice and HER eyes revealed how this story will eventually end. 

What won’t end is the love these two had between them.  Two people, two hearts and two hands holding on for dear life.

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