Today is the day I have a few hours to myself… a few hours to myself to tackle my to-do list, read the articles that I have kept in my inbox marked unread- that lone day where I can just sit down and not be disturbed. With a full time job, family, finding time to write, and all the demands pulling me every which way it’s hard to find time for myself to work on the things that I have been putting off for so long. Instead of attending to all things said, I find myself in the surgical waiting room in a hospital.
I sit among strangers, but yet they are my peers because someone in our family has cancer. We are all here for the same reason. Someone who we love is here for an operation. Whether it’s discovering the cancer has spread, or removing the cause, we all carry a heavy heart at this time. My fellow peers, although strangers to me here have young children, sisters, brothers, mothers or fathers which they anxiously wait for the doctor to come out and give them the news of their loved ones status. “How did it go” they ask the doctor? What did you find? Did you get it all? Did it spread?” I sit here trying hard not to ease drop, but I too find myself holding my breath waiting for the answers. I sense the families relief of the young girl who the doctors said,” we got it in time, it didn’t spread, she will be fine”. I hear them make phone calls to the grandparents, sisters, brother, aunts and uncles with relief in their voices. I can’t help but smile and say a quick prayer of thanks for them. Then a few minutes later, another doctor comes out with a grim look on his face, and I see the agony spread across the husband’s face when the doctor takes him off to a private room. This outcome is heart-wrenching to think of what is to come for his wife and their family.
My father’s been in surgery for over 6 hours now, and this is the time I chose to read my unmarked emails, follow-up on my stale research, make notes, study and hone in on my writing skills. I find it truly ironic in my everyday life I am unable to find a moment to myself and as I sit here this is what I am choosing to do.
I am numb now. No emotion, no feeling, just focus on the tasks at hand. That is one thing I do not share with my fellow peers here at the hospital. They sit with worrisome facades, I sit with a purpose. Use your time wisely my father would say, don’t sit and feel sorry for me, and most importantly don’t show emotion, don’t cry. Up until now, I have done what is expected of me. I have been strong, showed little emotion, I haven’t cried. Stellar; my father would be proud. I fight hard daily just as he is fighting. Although we fight a different battle for a similar purpose, he is fighting for his life, I am living to fight.
We all share this common bond of a vicious but silent evil who affects everyone in a similar yet opposite way.