|SUE - a breast cancer survivor||
Well if you caught the title, you are probably thinking I have finally gone over the edge on this one but stay tunned and I will explain. Remember that on your first day of treatment you went into the treatment area be it radiation or chemo or both and you chose a seat. Then each time you returned you sought out that same seating whether we are a creature of habit or familiarity doesn't matter, you soon find that the same people are seated around and you are sitting there together at the same time every day or once a week or whatever your pattern is. Age doesn't come into this, or economic status or anything else, you just sat down and now as you are facing the other person, you start to open the conversation and you don't have to search far as you both have something in common, you have cancer and you are in treatment. Friendships, relationships, and compassion, understanding and caring are formed and each week you look to see if your seatmate is there. You discuss what you both are going through, your history to get where you are and family and everything else that has been impacted by this disease. You are your own support group through fellow patients. A bond develops not only with your seatmate but also your nurse as she is most consistently the same person to assist you and give you treatment and ask the pertinent questions and listen to you those days that there are concerns of you just need a boost. We are all here for each other. There is no pretense, you are not out with people that have their daily routine of work, kids, and activities. Your year or whatever time frame is all focused on getting your treatment and getting through the process. You may see some seats empty as treatment finishes and you may see some seats filled in when the patient has lost the battle and won't be back. Our treatment rooms are spirited and often filled with laughter and too much noise but to me that is reassuring rather then so quiet you can hear a pin drop. Tomorrow may complete your treatment and what happens to those bonds. Here at our institute we have a program called staying together and we brown bag a lunch and meet at noon to discuss any care and or concerns but also to reconnect because we have traveled with you on this bumpy road and to see the happiness when former seatmates reconnect is heartwarming. Often we have patients just come back to visit and reconnect with staff as this became home for a period of time. There are amazing stories and their are sad stories but we all are in this together and want you to have the support and love you need at all times before, during, and after treatment. I will be hear holding a hand up and a hug and hope you will also share that with the next new face that looks for seat position.