The Power of Women
Someone with whom I am very close has cancer. Luckily, her prognosis is excellent and she has been told that her cancer is totally curable. That being said, she has had five rounds of chemotherapy already and has been told she needs four more "just to be on the safe side". I have gone with her each round of chemo, staying for about an hour or so. Luckily, she has many people who want to keep her company, so my seat is filled the minute I leave. I was nervous the first time I joined her. It was both of our first experiences with chemo and neither of us knew what to expect.
She is not getting her chemo at a large hospital, but instead in a high rise building which houses many doctor's offices. My friend's doctor has a "chemo suite" where 5 or 6 women get chemo at once sitting in a cozy room with reclining chairs. There is a catered breakfast and lunch, with fruit juice and iced tea, and some of the nicest nurses I have ever encountered. I sit on a stool next to my friend and say good morning all of the other women. I pass the time chatting with my friend, reading "Page Six" out loud and getting to know the other women in the room. Nobody speaks of cancer. The talk ranges from shopping, to children, to grandchildren to restaurants and travel. If there weren't any IV poles, it could be a book group or coffee klatch.
Most times I am the youngest woman (and they are all women) in the room. I help push IV poles around when need be and get up to get water or a snack for anyone who wants one. I am struck time after time how lovely and kind the women are there. The feeling in that room is one of utter support and love. Everyone there has cancer of varying degrees. Some may be very ill and not survive, others may have excellent prognoses like my friend and will. The bond in that room every third Thursday is exceptional. It is a testament to the power and grace of women. I have learned so much about life being there as a guest, and feel lucky to be able to give a moment of my time to these kind and brave women--telling a silly story about my kids or reading aloud the latest in celebrity gossip.Continued on the next page