Thursday, October 08, 2009


The entrance to MD Anderson Cancer Center hospital is through two sets of doors that are massive and open automatically. The first set is nondescript, purely functional. The second set, however, has a random pattern of large diamonds etched deep into the glass, and rising like wishes to the sky. With the movement of the opening doors, the diamonds grab and reflect the light and what you walk through is a song of colors.

On Tuesdays, a volunteer plays the grand piano in the lobby and fills the space from floor to ceiling with beautiful notes. You expect to see people sitting in the lobby and you expect to see the empty wheelchair by the door and the volunteer sitting at the information desk. You expect to see doctors ambling about and patients out for a stroll, but piano music is not what you expect when you enter a cancer center. It's a pleasant surprise.

What these gifts give your heart and mind is a moment, just a moment of pause when you walk into and through the lobby on your way to the elevators that carry you up to the tenth floor where you will spend the day with your friend who for the time being is in the corner room.

From the phone calls, emails and texts I received, apparently I worried a few people with yesterday's post. It was not about me. I wrote it about my friend, wrote it to my friend.


Life at Star's Rest said...

My prayers for your friend and for you. Let me know if I can help in any way. Carmon

mccarthy281 said...

I had a friend diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer yesterday. I can't even find words to desribe my feelings on that let alone his. God bless your friend and you. A long journey awaits...and God is the leader.

Network Geek said...

You'll get more than your share of spiritual advice, so allow me to offer some practical advice.

Make your friend walk like the doctors tell them to do. I wish I had done more of that when I had chemo. I might not have gotten so weak and out of shape if I had.

If your friend has chemo and gets nauseated from it, try salty food. Chips and crackers and popcorn really worked for me when nothing else did. Also, start by eating cold or cool foods first then work up to the warmer things on the tray. That was helpful also.

And, finally, survival is about attitude. Help your friend make up their mind to just do whatever it takes to survive the process and let the rest sort itself out later. Two years later and I'm still sorting things out, but, well, at least I'm here to sort them.

It's not cheap, but M.D.Anderson provides the best care imaginable for cancer patients. There's nowhere better to be.

And, finally, for you, make sure that the caregiver gets taken care of, too. That's very important.

ghost said...

prayers all around, alison.