Salute to a Mentor

At her first chemotherapy infusion, one woman met a caring patient who guided her through the treatment experience.

I walked bravely into the open infusion room on that dreaded first day of chemotherapy. My resolve soon crumbled, though, and the patient seated across from me spotted my fear.

She quietly asked if it was my first time. From there, she comforted me and bolstered my courage and said she would answer any questions from her own experience. All went smoothly then: The oncology nurses were skillful, patient, and kind.

When this new friend's treatment was completed that day, she came across to me and put her arm around my shoulder. She prayed quietly and we exchanged phone numbers. She also gave me a hand-crafted wooden cross that I treasure. She became my go-to person for those questions and encouragements frequently needed through this process. We delighted in getting to know one another and laughed at our far-flung differences, as well as what we had in common. She made me feel so worthwhile and that I was much more than the patient the cancer had made me become.

Marcia's cancer caused her end here on earth a little over a year after our meeting. I pray that I will be graced with meeting her in the good beyond. She was a true gift and changed my life.