He walked into the cancer center and I could smell the smoke on his clothes.  His fingers were stained from years of smoking.  His voice was raspy and he looked like he’d seen a lot of bad road in his life.  But he was polite.  He had manners.  And I could tell, he liked engaging in conversation; probably not something he did very often.

He told me about his diagnosis of lung cancer and how his family tree was full of cancer victims.  Not many of his relatives had been blessed with the word “survivor,” instead, they had become statistics for cancer researchers to use as they wrote up their treatment results.  He was not optimistic about his chances either.

I told him, he would be the one to snap the string of cancer deaths on that family tree.  He would be different and I could tell he liked that because he smiled.  I don’t think he did that very often either.

We talked about how coming to this cancer clinic was a smart choice.  Many different doctors would look at his case and he’d have a solid course of treatment by the end of the day.

His “hope meter” would be high knowing he had such good medical minds working to make him better or at least make him feel better.

He left with medication to soothe his insides and steady his dizziness.  He was on his way to the “better” part.

When he got home, I hope there was someone there to ask him how his day went…someone to listen…someone to care.

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