We were sitting in a waiting area of a posh Cancer Center building. This time I was on the receiving end of this business. I was not a provider (doctor) but rather a consumer (patient). I was accompanying my wife for her follow-up appointment with the Hematologist-Oncologist doctor.
It was a day of reckoning. We were going to get the dreaded results of her bone marrow biopsy.
Have you ever waited on a report before? A semester’s grade perhaps? Or a qualifying examination? Or a job application? Or a tax return? Nothing can compare to the anxiety level of waiting for a biopsy report.
As I looked at the people in the waiting room, I can easily identify the patients. To lighten up her mood, I told my wife that I look more as the patient than her, for I am the one with the thinning hair. Though I am not poking fun of the chemotherapy patients at all, for I only have admiration for their courage and resolve as they undergo this difficult treatment.
When we were called inside, we met with the cancer specialist. He reviewed the results of the bone marrow biopsy with us, including some fancy genetic tests that he obtained.
The doctor went into detailed medical description, for he knew I am a doctor too and speaks his language. He then concluded that the test did not show any evidence of Myelodysplastic or Myeloproliferative disorder. In simple terms, no evidence of badness to worry about. It was a good report overall.
It was such a relief!
For the past several days, we experienced silent and unspoken fear about our future. For my wife, for me, and for our family. But now, we will grow old together after all.
If there’s something good that came out of this, is that it made our bond stronger and our faith more steadfast.
As we were leaving the doctor’s office, I glanced once again at the people in that waiting room. One elderly woman who was in a wheelchair, was wearing a colorful bandana but looking glum. Another not so old lady who was wearing a fancy hat accompanied by few friends or family. One middle-aged man who looked frail and sitting alone. And some other ones I failed to describe.
What would the doctor’s report on them be? Would it be very good like ours was? Or not so good perhaps? Or would it be downright heartbreaking? I can only hope and pray for each of them.
Life. So unpredictable. Live it to the fullest. And celebrate it while you can.
Today we will.