This morning started off like all my other chemo infusions.  Laurie picked me up and took me this time and I noticed the woman in the chemo cube next to me was different (usually I see the same people all the time).  When I went to the restroom I saw her before her infusion started.  She looked quite ill.

In the middle of my second chemo, the woman was not feeling well.  The nurse who went to check on her found that she was not breathing.  She called a code blue and all of a sudden there was a flurry of activity and an onslaught of doctors and nurses.  All that separated me from the woman who stopped breathing was a thin cloth.  Some woman I don’t know who is battling cancer was beside me and for a few moments that felt like forever, she died.  Thank goodness they brought her back and she left (breathing on her own), in an ambulance. 

Lest I forget that this is a life and death battle, I have now been reminded.  I looked at that woman differently than I would have six months ago.  Today I didn’t just feel badly for her and pray for her.  Today I felt heartbroken that she cannot take the chemo she needs to kill her cancer.  I felt such unbelievable sorrow knowing that she, like me, woke up today knowing it would be a rough day and that the day turned out so very much rougher than she could have imagined.  I wondered how horrifying it would be to be come back from death only to find you are in a chemo ward and still have cancer.  She was in her seventies.  I wondered if maybe she would have wanted them to let her go.

I prayed for her.  I prayed for G-d to let her feel his presence.  I hope that wherever she went for the minutes that she escaped from cancer and chemo was beautiful and peaceful, free of sorrow, free of physical pain, and most of all, free of cancer.