In one of the cafeterias at Anderson, Lisa & I were greatly enjoying lunch after my P.E.T. scan. This couple roughly my age sat at the table next to us. They ate, mostly in silence. He looked at a magazine half-heartedly after he finished his meal. She stared into space, wiping tears & hoping he wouldn't notice. She cried hard for a good while.
Then there were the two little twin girls with a lady I took to be a grandmother. I heard her say "We can go back up & see Mommy after lunch, but not just yet. She needs to rest."
Near one of the coffee shops was a guy apparently doing business on his mobile phone. It's pretty common to see a businessman doing his thing out in public. But it's rather uncommon to see said businessman hooked up to an IV pole via multiple sticks & bags. (Unless one is at M.D. Anderson...there, it's not uncommon at all.)
As I stood just outside the Melanoma & Skin Center celebrating via phone & text message, a lady came out from the Thoracic area. She was by herself. She was weeping. Barely-controlled weeping. I've been a patient of Thoracic four times myself. My favorite surgeon is Dept. Head there. It was there, just over 4 years ago that a Dr. said the dreaded words "Stage IV Metastatic Melanoma...in both lungs" to Lisa & me. I felt her pain. I wondered if she was crying because of what she'd just found about her own medical situation or someone else's.
There was a guy sitting in the Melanoma waiting room. His Dr. came out & sat next to him to pass along his test results. (Which were apparently good.)
Down in the lobby coffee shop, there were three folks laughing & talking. One of them had the same sort of wristband on that I wear. It's great to see folks with such friends that would spend a day at what can be a very depressing place because their friend is undergoing testing and/or treatment. But the laughter is very temporary there. One's mind never wanders very far away from the reality of why they're there in the first place.
Near an elevator, there was a couple with a young, elementary-school age boy. He was in a wheelchair. Wearing the chemo hat.
The hotel shuttles & taxicabs kept up their non-stop dropping off of patients & patients friends/family members. The gift shop had a fresh batch of t-shirts; it also had a fresh batch of the special caps one wears after chemo has removed all of one's hair.
It's just another routine day inside the University of Texas' M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.
These images rewound in my mind as I sat on my front porch last night enjoying the stillness, the (relative) coolness, and the distant thunder & flashes of lightning.
One day, there will be no more cancer. No more tears. No more "Mommy needs her rest." No more need to send folks home to Hospice care. No more need for IV sticks & chemo poles, P.E.T. scans, & something called "post-op". Come, Lord Jesus! Haste the day when our faith with become sight and there will be no more sickness & sorrow.
Until then, I thank God on a very regular basis for the wonderful facility that is M.D. Anderson, and for the amazing folks on staff there.
|So, all of these buildings in the foreground comprise |
part of M.D. Anderson's facilities...
Have you been thankful for medical facilities like Anderson lately?
Have you interceded for those searching for cures?
Have you been thankful that you don't have an M.D. Anderson patient number?
More important, have you prayed for your friends who are entering Anderson & other such places?
Until a cure is found,