Yesterday we went back to the doctor's office to have my chemo pump removed, bringing my third round of chemo to an end and setting me free for another week or so. The procedure takes less than five minutes; we had to wait an hour and half for that less than five minutes. I can't blame them -- the nurses and staff there are wonderful people, and they were short-staffed and working very hard.
What can you do? Sometimes you have to just wait it out, and I guess I'll be doing a lot of that as we go forward with this crazy adventure called cancer.
One good thing is that I've had a lot more time to read, but yesterday, thinking that things would be humming along at the oncologist's office, I decided to not bring a the book I'd been reading, Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird.
Once I realized we were in for a wait, I get a little testy (with myself). Why didn't I just grab the book on my way out the door? It wouldn't have killed me. I tried looking at my iPhone (emails, news, etc.) but that got old fast. And the assortment of magazines in the waiting room (some People, Entertainment Weekly, along with assorted, more specialized ones like Cancer Today, etc.) seemed pawed over and uninspiring.
I happened to glance over at an older gentleman sitting across from me, who was happily occupied with a small yellowed paperback. I was envious. But I was also curious about what he was reading. Whenever I see someone engrossed in a book at a cafe, or on the train, or wherever, I always try to see what they're reading, and, of course, make judgements about them based on their book of choice.
At one point the man got up to get a drink from the water cooler and left his book cover-up on his chair. I glanced over at the title: To Kill a Mockingbird. Somehow that made it all better. I resisted the urge to get his attention and tell him I was reading it too - I mean, it would probably have come across as a little dorky. I suppose the lesson is, we have more in common with each other than we realize. "We're in this together" has become a very consoling thought for me lately.
Before I sign off, a huge thank you to Jason's cousin Shirley L., who stopped over yesterday to visit, bearing the gift of sushi, and an amazingly pretty card with a painting of two owls, a quote from Emerson ("Our strength grows out of our weaknesses.") and a list of cancer support groups that she took the time to research, copy out by hand, and share with me and Jason. Thank you Shirley!