If I were to write a story about my time at MD Anderson as I prepared for my ear surgery it would have been full of descriptions of the people I encountered. People young and old, their homes near and far, all converging on a place known for its breakthrough cancer treatments and world renowned doctors.
My journey to this place occurred 3 years ago when my ear specialist left his practice to treat patients at MD Anderson. With my ongoing problems, I’ve had doctors up and down the east coast, all over Texas and this doctor is hands down the best. So I moved along with him, even though I did not have cancer, I had my own set of problems, so I was welcomed.
God has humbled me in the presence of a type of suffering I might not otherwise have experienced. Because every few months when I go for a check-up, I see pain etched in the faces of the patients that surround me in the waiting room. I watch the nervous anticipation in the clasped hands of their loved ones. I smile as I see patients visiting with one another and making new friends in such an unseemly place.
There is also hope. Hope for a cure, hope for just a few more months, hope that miracles do in fact happen here.
At first I felt like an intruder in this special place. I knew those around me thought I too had cancer. I was an imposter. But slowly I recognized that I had a purpose here as well. When I came with my newborn child, I brought smiles to these faces. As she grew she interacted with everyone and I’d like to think took their minds off their situation, even if just for a moment. One smile from my 1 year old had the man in front of me suddenly quit his nervous shuffling and pacing. He was reminded of his now teenage children, back home in Ohio. I listened as he told me he had a tumor and been given just weeks to live. As a last hope he came here to Houston to see a specialist. He wasn’t asking for a cure, just a few more months to have with his family. I told him he’d be in our prayers and he thanked me.
He thanked me when it was I who should have been thanking him. He helped open my eyes to the really important things in this world, things that are so easy to take for granted.
I’m thankful for my time at MD Anderson, for the sea of faces that have become imprinted in my mind and heart and especially my prayers.
*I am recovering from my surgery. Next week I will be back at MD Anderson for a follow-up and to remove the bandages inside my ear. I’m praying the eardrum is healing nicely and the surgery did its job:)