I went to my every three week Herceptin infusion today.
I was excited to see my doctor and nurse, who I haven't seen since late January.
I settled into my chair in the waiting room and waited for my name to be called.
While I waited, I noticed a man and woman in their 50's and a man in his 30's talking quietly. The woman was fighting back tears. The men were somber.
For some reason, I walked over to her, sat down and asked her if I could hug her.
She hugged me hard. I asked her if she had just been diagnosed. She sniffed as she said, "No, my daughter." and motioned down the hall.
I immediately started in with my success story, as I had so many times. "No worries! Breast cancer is highly treatable! I have no evidence of disease. It's not that bad...."
She started blankly at me and said, "She's 34. This is her second round."
I changed my speech to the "there are new advances every day!" line.
Our eyes locked and we both started bawling. I walked back to my seat feeling like I had been sucker punched. At that second, even I didn't believe the BS I was spewing.
A woman came to the front desk from the doctor's office hallway and started making her follow up appointments, as we all have to do.
I heard her schedule her PET scan and MRI.
She was calm. She was friendly to the receptionist.
I then watched as she walked over to the family I had just spoken to. Judging from that woman's demeanor, I would have had no idea that she was the one that had just been diagnosed for a second time in a few short years with breast cancer.
I couldn't help but stare as she walked arm and arm out of the oncology office with her family without saying a word. I also watched as all four of them embraced and collapsed the second they were safely out in the hallway.
Another sucker punch.
I had just witnessed my worst fear.
Why the hell hadn't I just minded my own business and let that lady weep in peace? Then, I would have had no idea about their story. I wouldn't have opened up my own raw wounds and emotions.
Just yesterday, I told Eric that I'm finally feeling like the old me.
Cancer thoughts weren't consuming me like they used to.
Now today, all I can think about is that poor girl. Her screening two months ago was clean. She was cancer-free. Now, her future is unknown and her prognosis is grim.
What a difference a day makes.
I'm sorry. What a buzz kill this post is.
It's reality... and sometimes, reality bites.
If anything, it's a good (much needed) reminder to not take a single day for granted.
My prayers and thoughts go out to that girl, whoever she is.