As I sit in this waiting room of only women, In a sea of blue cotton robes, with the “opening in the front” (of course), I cannot help but look around, observe and judge.
Yes, I said it, JUDGE.
“But I didn’t think Christians were supposed to do that?” you say.
When one becomes a follower of Christ, one does not cease being human.
With each name called that isn’t mine I want to charge up to the front desk and say, “I can’t wait any longer! I have things to do today! (Like sitting around in my pajamas. It’s my day off! My ‘Nobody tell me what to do’ day.)”
Of course I don’t do that, do I?
Nope! This appointment has been on the calendar for 6 months. I’m not just going to walk out now! No way. I’ll show them and stay another hour if I have too!
My inner monologue is suddenly interrupted by the familiar sound of a chip bag opening. “Oh, I’m so hungry. Why didn’t I bring a snack?!” “Duh, because they are going to weigh me!” (Clearly still deceived by the notion that I will weigh less having not eaten today. I don’t mean a few ounces less, I mean 10 lbs.)
So…here I am…waiting. As I have been for the last 82 minutes.
I can’t tell if the woman beside me has an issue with her jaw or is popping gum. It’s really loud. Really. Loud.
Oh good, now she’s taking a call on her cell. The popping is replaced by her inquiries about dry cleaning and whether or not her dog has been walked and if it had pooped or peed on the walk because, that’s important. (What part of the sign “NO CELLPHONES” does she not understand?!)
The nurse emerges and calls her back. “Thank the Lord in heaven!” (is my extremely loud thought.)
As I continue an inner monologue about how I would never be as obnoxious as this woman, a word in a conversation to my right catches my attention.
That’s the word. The one word that snapped me out of my self righteous, internal ranting.
There were 5 ladies, strangers from what I could tell, sharing their stories. For the young woman who had just been diagnosed, she was asking the other woman who had been cancer free since 2009, what to expect.
“What kind of pajamas do they allow in the hospital?”
“Will I lose my hair?”
“How long does chemo take?”
“Does everyone throw up after?”
“What if it doesn’t work?”
“What stage was yours?”
“Did you have radiation?”
“Do you drink regular milk or organic?”
The older woman was compassionate in her answers.
I don’t have cancer.
I don’t know the answer to any of her questions. I am here, as I will be every 6 months for the rest of my life because I am “high risk.” Female cancer dominates both sides of my family. I am no stranger to the word metastasized, as that word alone awakens many feelings that have been silent until several months ago when it became a reality again with the news of my beautiful friend, now fighting for her life against a relentless form of ovarian cancer.
I actually made it a priority to schedule my annual appointment with my gyno because of her. He insisted that I have the genetic testing done to see if I carried the cancer gene. He called with the results. All tests were negative. I do not carry the gene.
So why am I sitting here. Why will I spend half of my day off, sitting here with strangers, when I could be with my boys?
Is there really a difference between the two?
Regardless, here I am. Waiting…
I’m guessing that the young girl asking all the questions is in the fear stage. I can’t say that for sure and now I’m judging again. (Why am I acting so priggish?!) If anything I should be falling down before the Father in praise several times a day that I emerged from the darkness in which I was living, relatively unscathed.
However, here I sit. Annoyed by the smallest of things. Remember my motto…”Progress not Perfection.” Some days (like today), progress is even a stretch.
The lady beside me takes out her emory board to file her nails. (Insert inner scream here). Noooooooooooo! Forget the sound! What makes her think I want to breathe in her fingernail dust? And there’s no escaping it! Its flying everywhere.
The door opens, here comes the nurse, she’s calling my name.
Clarification: There are few things in this life that I can say with all of the passion I can muster that I detest. Cancer is one of those things. It is a devil of sorts. Often times it is silent in its deadly pursuit until its victim is left ravaged and face to face with death. I am in no way trying to make light of this disease in this post. I am simply giving you, the reader, a glimpse in to my perception, warped as it may be at times. Usually, for me, this all points back to fear. Thankfully I have been given the tools to face it and move on. I feel beyond blessed to only be going in for rechecks. I am on the maintenance plan while many are fighting for their life.