A Small Act of Kindness Goes a Long Way

June 1, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog

Cedars’ infusion center is a big room that looks like a medical concrete tent. The first time I walked in there with my husband Chris I thought of M.A.S.H..

As we stood frozen at the entrance, we saw people of all ages and colors hooked up to IVs getting their drugs.  Some patients were asleep, some just looked out into the distance and a few sat with their friends or family members chatting like being there was the most normal thing in the world.

Chris’ doctor was away at the time and the nurse who was supposed to walk us through the process was nowhere to be found. 

I don’t remember which one of us took the first step but we finally walked in holding each other’s hand.  At the nurse’s station we waited a few minutes before one of them thought we deserved some attention.

I got really mad and told them that it was frightening enough to take the steps from the entrance to their station without having to wait by their desk being completely ignored.

They apologized but I could see in their expression that they were thinking “not another one telling us how to do our jobs”.

Chris stepped on a large scale and after his weight was taken we went to sit on one of the recliners.  I sat next to Chris and as I looked around tears started to flow down my face.  I turned away from him as I didn’t want him to see me crying.

A heavy set couple sat a few feet from us.  The man was hooked up to an IV getting whatever drug his doctor thought had a chance to beat his cancer.  His partner sat next to him.  She watched me for a couple of seconds before getting up.  Without saying a word, she walked up to me and handed me a tissue.  It was a simple gesture in which she was letting me know she understood, she knew in her gut what I was feeling.

I didn’t feel alone anymore. At that moment I knew also in my gut that somebody else was already travelling the road I was just about to go on and she was still standing.

That woman allowed me the strength to sit in that infusion center for the next ten months, her gesture a small one but of magnificent power.

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