I walked in, took one look at her face and I just knew.
It was her first day.
She had that deer caught in the headlight look in her eyes. Like she might just cry at any moment. Like she couldn’t believe what was happening to her. What her life all of a sudden looked like. Surely there was a mistake.
She looked just the way I looked 18 months ago.
I sat down in the chair next to her. They accuse me of trying to win “Queen of the Chemo Room”, but I like to think of myself as more of the welcome wagon.
We started talking. I let her lead the conversation. There is so much information flying at you in those first few days and weeks. I didn’t want to be just another person telling her what to do. How she should feel. The decisions she should make.
So I just answered the questions she asked. She has a different cancer than I do. One that will bring its own challenges. Her journey will be her own. I did tell her that. And as she warmed up and we found our way into conversation I felt free to share some of things I’ve learned along the way.
I told her not to look at the statistics. They do not help and they do not predict your future. If we had believed what we read at first we’d have thrown our hands up before we even started. I told her that her kids would be okay. That she should answer their questions as they asked them. She has four. I can’t even imagine that.
My chemo quickly ran in and it was time to leave. Before I left, I took her hand and I said that I hoped that she would find, as we have, that there are many blessings along this journey. And that I would be praying for her, because that had made all the difference.
I’d like to ask you to pray for her as well. I won’t share their names because I didn’t ask them if I could. But the good Lord knows and that is all that matters.