Sunday, August 09, 2009

Strangers Who Have Touched Our Hearts

Well, I'm back...or should I say my husband and I are back. We've been on a little "holiday" of sorts as my husband would say, but not exactly the kind of holiday that I would love to go on. There's been accommodations, meals and the opportunity to meet some wonderful people, but before you come to any it was not at any resort destination, but at our hospital.

Thank goodness for hospitals and their medical experts!!! We've made a few visits there over the past years, and we once again had the opportunity to catch up with the nurses and doctors who we've not seen for awhile, and who for the most part, have become somewhat of our second family. The good news is that everything is ok now and as they say...."there's no place like home". For those who read this and know us personally, be assured that my husband will be back to work on Monday, as many will no doubt jump to the conclusion that he's not that great. News has a way of getting out like that.

Now, to my topic of today's post. My husband shared a hospital ward with other cancer patients. We have formed a very close bond with two of these patients and their families, even though we had only met them within the past few days. Both my husband and I hold the belief that "fate" has placed us in many situations for a purpose and that people have come into our lives like "angles" to help us during very difficult moments.

One of the patients of whom I speak received some not so great news about his cancer, while we were there. Needless to say, we know all to well how that news affects not only the patient, but also their immediate family. Your life instantly is put on "hold", just like pressing the hold button on your telephone, and while we try to keep your lives as routine as possible, we all know that there is no such thing as living a normal life anymore. Hey, we're not complaining about that at all, as we are soooo blessed to have my husband with us, with such a great quality of life. It's just that hearing that cancer diagnosis can most definitely change everything and it can instantly make you feel that all hope it gone. I will write soon about the emotional stages in another post, that not only the cancer patients goes through, but also his/her loved ones as well.

Now to get back on track to the cancer patient of whom I speak. He has a wonderful, supportive family and that is half the battle along his cancer journey. My husband was there to relate his feelings when he first was diagnosed and just by looking at him and listening to him, they could instantly see that you NEVER GIVE UP, no matter how high the odds may be stacked against you. We laughed together this past week, and we have formed a special bond with this patient and his family. We have exchanged our addresses, phone numbers and we will most definitely continue to keep in touch and to be there for them in any way we can.

Another wonderful man who has endured so much adversity over these past few years, was also one of my husband's roommates. The one feature that will always be embedded on our hearts after spending time with him this week, is his amazing and heartwarming smile. This is a man who continues to offer that loving smile, even at the slightest wave of your hand, despite the fact that he may be not having such a great day. This is a man who is soooo very grateful for the smallest kindest that you show him and who rewards you with a warm hug to say "thanks". His family displays the same kindness and warmth as well everytime you meet them and it's easy to see that they are a reflection of their father's character.

Yes, we were very blessed to be in the company of these amazing patients and their families this week. They were there for us to offer support and encouragement during this past week and we trust that through our experiences with cancer, we have provided them some hope and determination to keep the faith!

I am not a person who wears my emotions on my sleeve, but as I said good-bye to these two amazing patients yesterday and wished them well, I suddenly felt tears streaming down my face. I turned so that they would not see this, and with a wave of goodbye, my husband and I were gone.

Although it's not been a great week for my husband, it has given both of us yet another chance to experience the good things that we encounter along our cancer journey.

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