Monday, May 24, 2010

Do We Really Have to Think About 'THAT' Again?

I shared in a post, many months ago, that Scott has been diagnosed with cancer.  I wanted to share with you something I wrote while sitting in the waiting room at the cancer center, before he was diagnosed.  I had never really written anything before this... I'm sharing it, because I think it really encapsulates how I was feeling that day.  We go tomorrow for another check up.  The last one didn't go so well, but we have high hopes this check up will be better.  Hey... we've got places to go, things to see, and a new grandson on the way!! 

 I do NOT like this interruption.  
It's REALLY inconvenient!   

Anyway, here's what I wrote...

How Did We Get....HERE?
April 2008

         I’m sitting in a waiting room at the Moffitt Cancer Center.  As I look
around me, I’m amazed by many things.  The first thing I notice, is how old everyone looks.  The sign on the door says, ‘Senior Adult Oncology Clinic.’  Senior Adult!  How did that happen?  Every woman in here is wearing hose and sensible shoes. All the men are wearing tube socks, and shuffling around slowly, some with the aid of a walker.  I feel like I’ve entered another world, one I’m not sure I’m going to like.

         I glance down at my leopard sandals and designer purse my husband bought me last year in Paris.  That’s the couple we are.  A couple that travels, goes out to dinner, and spends most evenings together, watching reality TV.  Not this strange, new couple I’m seeing, going to doctor appointments, labs, and biopsies.  I think often of how lucky we are, blessed would be a better word for it.  Neither one of us has ever been sick, not for more than 2 or 3 days anyway.  I don’t think we’ve met our medical insurance deductible in 13 years, when our last child was born. 

         Wait!  I see someone in the back corner.  A woman, dressed in cute jeans, a white shirt, and sporting a super cute haircut.  She looks about my age.  I wonder about her.  Is her husband in the back, finding out his fate, as mine is?

         Cancer is for other people.  Not my strong, quick-witted husband, who has stood by my side, no matter what, for 27 years.  Last night I was holding his hand in mine.  As I held it, I thought about all the work his hands have done over the years, on behalf of myself and our 3 kids.  So selfless, never complaining, everything done for the good of our family.  Now with quiet strength, he faces this, the possibility of cancer.  Again, I’m did we ever get here?

         A woman in green scrubs keeps coming to the door of the waiting room, calling out names.  One by one, people file out of here, to the back.  For some reason, at this moment, I’m thinking of the Holocaust.  Some lived, some died, seemingly at random.  I feel like this room is full of people with similar odds.  But I quickly remind myself that God is in control.  There is nothing really random about this at all.  God knows everyone in this room, whether they acknowledge him or not.  He cares for them, loves them, and knows them by name.  I’m thankful I know Him, and I feel His presence right now.

         I study the swirling pattern on the carpet, and notice how it clashes with the upholstery on the chairs.  Actually, this place is modern and clean.  The 3-story lobby, with floor to ceiling windows, reminds me of standing under the pyramid at the Louvre.  They even offer valet parking here at the clinic.  The last time we used valet parking was just a few weeks ago, when we went out to dinner.  We sat outside at a table, with a view of Tampa Bay, and watched the sun set.  It was so beautiful, so romantic, so us.  Oddly, this valet parking doesn’t feel like a privilege, it feels like pity.

         This room is so cold.  I look around again, and notice lots of people with canes and masks.  There’s a group sitting right behind me, laughing.  They are discussing how strange it is to reach for the shampoo in the shower, out of habit, even after all their hair fell out... I feel like I can’t breathe.  How long am I going to have to sit here?  I glance around one last time, and I see a Starbucks across the lobby.  Ahh, that’s more like it.  I think I’ll go get a chai.  Maybe that will make me feel normal again.

So that was it... how I was feeling that day.  We've had some ups and downs for sure during this ordeal.  I think we've done a really good job at staying positive, and we have learned the meaning of living for today... not in an irresponsible way, but in a "we might not have tomorrow" way.  Many, many people with cancer have had it much worse... as I say, we are blessed... and we most definitely have learned to be thankful for the little things.


P.S. Over the weekend, we came to some conclusions about our move to Paris.  We have made a decision... for now... will share that in a later post.  


char said...

Wow Teri!
Once again that takes my breath away. You are gifted at putting your thoughts on paper or the internet as the case may be. I really feel there is somone somewhere that will be helped by your openess and honesty. Know that we are praying daily for all our family with extra prayers for Scott. He is indeed a very special man.

hostess of the humble bungalow said...

Your powers of observation are amazing...this post is evidence of your gift and the words are so evocative....
it's difficult for me to comment cancer seems to touch all of our lives.

BonjourRomance said...

Oh Teri, your words are so touching. It's amazing how we observe all the little things around us when we are going through a difficult situation. Please know that Scott will be in my prayers as well as you and your family. The Lord does know what we are going through and is there with every step!
All my best,

LuLu said...

Praying for the both of you.

myletterstoemily said...

oh teri, i didn't know you back then. i am
so sorry and pray this next report will be

you are so right about how age has just
sneaked up on us. inside, i am still 30.

The Armchair Parisian said...

How touching...a reminder that things do change and sometimes take us places we never dreamt we'd see ~ places we never wanted to see. And just when did this sneaky growing up and facing of reality happen? I wasn't looking... I wish the best for your next bit of news.

The Flying Bee said...


I am overwhelmed with emotion right now. I will be praying for you and for Scott. I wonder what your decision about the move will be.


Diane said...

Teri, this is such an amazing writing! You ARE so gifted in being able to put words together in such a way that draws others in to be able to experience your world of deep insight and experience. You're an amazing woman and wife -- and Scott, he's amazing, too! You, two, are covered in prayer. Love you,

*The Beautiful Life* said...

Teri!! You describe those feelings to a tee! I've been there, too - to Moffit and your words/description transport me back there.

Yes - the valet parking seems awkward there -- like it fits, but it doesn't fit. But all the same, how beautiful that they offer it.

I am going to be sooo anxious to hear how things go... And regarding Paris -- just give me the date, please, as to when you're moving... ;)

Love to you and Scott!!!


P.S. -- Ladies, I wish you ALL could meet Scott (and Teri) in person! Scott is awesome -- he is quiet, gentle, funny, and most of all I love how he loves his Teri. It is touching to watch them together... Sumpin' special goin' on between those two! :)

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