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Kindness... and Pain

Don’s Journey

Gail is presently receiving a liver biopsy for the clinical study in which she is participating. They will also use tissue for other genetic testing that might help with treatment. One never knows how long these appointments will take, so we come prepared with a book, iPad and a game or two. Lauren and Kristin are here for support, and, to pass the time with us. I’ve already learned a new game called “Arrogance,” and I actually won today. I love to beat my daughters at games because it makes me feel like I’m still smarter than them. I will choose to remain in this delusion as long as possible. :)

I am becoming familiar with the Hershey cafeteria. They make a mean omelet! Though I’ve been a patient here, and visited here many times, I’m learning more than I really want to know about this facility, though Hershey Medical Center is pretty easy to navigate. Gail and I have been so pleased with how well she is being treated. People here have been truly kind. Kindness is so helpful and seems rare in our world. For instance, at the doctors office in the cancer treatment facility, there is a volunteer named Joe. He is a retired gentlemen who obviously does this because he wants to help people and he enjoys his job immensely. There were two “Gail’s” at my wife’s first appointment and when he called their name, both of them went down the hall to their appointment. That is, until Joe realized that there were two of them. He told my Gail that she was a trouble-maker and sent her back to the waiting room laughing the whole time. The next visit we made to the waiting room, Joe recognized Gail and teased her when he called her back again. After the appointment, he escorted her back to the waiting room reassuring her the whole way. He then stopped her and asked her diagnosis. When she told him, he said that cancer patients were his favorite because they were so inspiring. Gail wasn’t feeling very inspiring, but this man’s kindness lightened her load. He gave her a hug and sent her along her way. The Bible tells us that love is kind. It is really nice to be on the receiving end of kindness. Perhaps we should all share some every day.

We are now home. This was the shortest visit to date, only four hours. Something disturbing I noticed about my wife while she was laying in the hospital bed awaiting her biopsy. She has bruises on her arms and several holes where I.V.s were inserted. She now has about a two-inch cut high on her right chest and a large raised area where port is placed under the skin. She also has a little hole on her side where they took the biopsy for her liver. Along with her loss of weight, I don’t like this sight at all. It tells me that my wife is experiencing pain, and it is a reminder that something is wrong with my beautiful bride. This is only the beginning of the painful process of treating cancer. Her pain causes me pain. I am reminded of Paul’s words to the Corinthians in the Bible – “We are all one body. When one part suffers, every part suffers.” Multiply that thought several times over when the other part of the body is your wife. But she is a trooper, you would never know except for the tell-tale signs.