Friday, October 17, 2008

that scary word....cancer.

Today at work I met someone that shared with me that she had terminal breast cancer. It was random that she chose to elect me as her recipient of this news. I was ringing up her merchandise in the store and a simple question to her turned into a 15 minute conversation about how this could be her last trip out. She hadn't told her husband who was sitting on the first level of my 2 level restaurant. We were on the 2nd. She had been drinking. And I know what your thinking....but there was something about the whole thing that made me believe her.

She talked about her kids all older and on their own and how much she just loved her husband and they had been best friends for over 30 years...and how he'd been there the first time she'd gotten cancer and beat it. She was so proud of her kids and you could see how that shook her not knowing how much more time she had with them. Her plan was to finish her vacation and when she got home she'd tell her husband what the results had been. This was her time she said to let her husband enjoy this vacation with her. In case it was their last. She teared again. I had to look down and tell myself not to let that tear drop. Be strong for this woman, I begged myself.

I'm an emotional sucker for emotion. If there was a contest for the fastest human to shed a tear and have a quivering lip...you would see me as the grand Pubaa. I told her that I thought it was nice of her to give that gift of "normalcy" to her husband by letting him enjoy this time without that weight of worry. Even though I'm sure he will be angry at her for not letting HIM give HER the support that she needs with this. We finished up her transaction and I bagged up everything, asked her name and told her I would keep her in my thoughts and say a little prayer for her. She smiled and said not to take anything for granted and requested I not let on we had this conversation around her husband. I had briefly spoke with them earlier at their table and met her husband and he seemed like a real good guy. I couldn't face going back and looking at him thinking...it's not right I know something so intimate about this person that he doesn't know yet. But I understood why she did it. It might be something I would do.

I don't know, it was oddly strange but I'm glad I met her. I was dismayed a bit that she's right, you just never know what God may bring your way. You take the good with the bad. Sadly we've all known of someone either close to us or casually that has had some form of cancer. I lost my father to lung cancer when I was 17. I despised that word, feared it, hated it, cried many tears because of it. 16 years later, my doctor said that word to me a year after I had my daughter. That word brought me back to that time, but in the role of my father. It was quickly taken care of and that word is not something I need to worry about. (((sigh))). I hate that people have to go through this struggle.

Her name was Karry. And I'm glad I met her.

~The Rambler

4 ramblings of your own:

Krissy said...

you know, i believe that everything happens for a reason and the other addage that whatever doesn't kill us, only makes us stronger. i'm glad that you were there for this woman to talk to. it sounds like you were a non biased party that she was able to vent her feelings too. it sounds that maybe she hadn't even told her friends either. you were there to let her get a huge weight off of her shoulders if only for the time being.
i'm also so glad that things turned out great for your situation. i think your dad is watching over you. =)

CCBFF said...

Well it made me cry. I think we are neck-in-neck when it comes to the grand pubaaaaaa.

Kalei said...

First...I shed a tear....sign of a good writer.
My Boss and us share a common background: our fathers were diagnosed and died of "cancer". the horrible reality of life is that you sometimes have to repeat your painful memories. He told me this week his mom was diagnosed and he needs to fly home for her emergency surgery. It took me back to that time when we had to deal with dad....if we only knew what we know now. I remember that deep quiet you experience when you are trying hard to make time slow down so you can take a breath. so, with that said, good luck to both Karry and to Rod for having to deal with that part of life we try to avoid.

kalei

Becky said...

I was just watching something about how people tend to confide more in strangers than the people they know -- maybe it's because they get to share just that part of their story without worrying about the baggage of everything else. I think it was noble of her to let her husband have that one last, fun vacation before she told him. A high school friend of mine got married in Hawaii a few months before I moved away and some of her friends from Seattle had come for it. One of them has a much older boyfriend, who called her (while on the trip) to say he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Needless to say, she couldn't enjoy the rest of her trip or the wedding and was plagued by migraines the rest of the time. I have no idea why felt compelled to do that to her, since she was coming home in four days anyway (not to mention it's three years later and he's still unsymptomatic).