Thursday, May 04, 2006

Thoughts

Today, I was waiting at the end of one of the skybridges at work and noticing all the people going by – either walking or taking the little golf cart shuttles. As the time passed the more I wanted to cry. You see, I work at one of the largest (and greatest) cancer institutions in the world. Normally I am holed up in my little cubby behind a computer, not getting out that much except for lunch and meetings.

But today I sat and took the time to notice the patients and visitors. I haven’t done that in quite sometime and it humbled me.

They are all so brave.

I saw a gentleman gently helping his wife into a wheelchair, place her feet on the little foot rests and then carefully drape a handmade afghan around her shoulders. I watched as a lady made sure her husband was able to climb onto the golf cart successfully and then watched as he picked up his leg with his hand to guide it up to where he was sitting. I listened to the rattle of a gentleman breathing through his trach tube. And then I started thinking about my life and how much it is affected by this horrible disease.

My job consists of putting together tools (order sets, guidelines, etc) to assist physicians treat their patients. I live in an apartment complex where some patients stay if they are undergoing long term care. I volunteer for an organization that raises money for cancer research and patient services. Five members of my immediate and extended family have had some kind of treatment for various types of cancer. Four members of my TNT cycling team are cancer survivors (and they are some of the fastest people on our team!!).

I am not sure why I took the time to think about all this. Maybe it was because yesterday my mother told me that a friend of the family had lost his battle with lung cancer. He was only 56. He will be missed. Susan, you are in my thoughts. May the memory of Mike always bring a smile to your face and never diminish.

7 comments:

Cagey said...

Good health is definitely a blessing. People often ask me why I workout the way I do. Most often my answer is "because I can." I'm definitely appreciative of my good health as I'm sure you are.

Erin said...

I think it's good that you noticed. It really does make you realize how precious life is. I'm going through a similar situation now dealing with a friend who lost his only son this weekend.

Carpe diem. Now more than ever.

bunnygirl said...

I don't think any of us are untouched by this disease, but you are so fortunate to be able to go home at the end of each day knowing you have helped in some small way.

I live and work near the Med Center. Let me know if you want to do lunch or an after-work run sometime.

Mojo said...

It's easy to forgot how lucky we are. It's wonderful you took time out of your day to notice others' struggles and pain.

Thanks for reminding me not to ever take a day for granted.

walchka said...

Great post Jill! It's easy to get swept up in our lives that we never take a moment to slow down and really see what's going on. I think its great that you did and a good reminder to all of us. Thanks...

crazycatlady said...

That is awesome that you took time to notice all of those people. I am going through a similar situation...a friend of mine has a 9 year old daughter with brain and spinal cord cancer...she just finished treatment and is doing better, but if it comes back, there is nothing more they can do. Fuck cancer! It has no right to torture and kill so many people.

DisseminatingData said...

I second Walchka's post. Pressing the "pause" button in life is good for all of us.