It was another day at the cancer center.
A woman, in a daze, sitting in a wheelchair waiting for her ride, was a million miles away from the big circular doors she had just escaped. Her treatment was over for the day. She was thin and had all the signs of being a long time cancer patient. She was ready to get away from this place.
Maybe her next stop would be an escape from cancer world. One could only hope so.
Another woman, also in a wheelchair, on oxygen, was being pushed by a care giver who was bent over this woman’s shoulder while she pushed her around the lobby. It was clearly a better day for them because they were laughing and chatting as they disappeared into the elevator. Cancer or its effects hadn’t interfered, yet.
I was in the elevator myself, heading down to my usual parking spot on level 3, when the doors opened on parking level 1. A young man, probably in his 30’s, stepped inside. He smiled and without delay he looked at me and said “I hate this place.”
“I hate this place.”
I wasn’t prepared for that so I just looked at him. He returned the look until I finally said “Really?” When he nodded yes, I asked if he was a patient and he nodded yes again. When I said “I can understand why” he had nothing to say until the elevator doors opened. “I’ll be OK,” he said as he walked away, in the direction of radiation oncology.
“I’ll be thinking of you.”
And I am.