At out last clinic visit I had a seemingly benign encounter with our nurse practitioner (who we love). I was trying to see if next week, we could come a day later than our usual clinic day so that we could stay at Disney longer. She told me that it would be hard to arrange this because our upcoming visit included chemo and a procedure (lumbar puncture) and there are only a few procedure spots each day. She went on to say that there are several new patients who have Friday as their clinic day. Say no more - new patients get a LOT of procedures in the beginning of treatment. It wasn't a big deal for our logistics, we just bought some cheapy tickets back from Florida and will make our clinic visit just fine next Thursday.
What I have been thinking about is how sad I suddenly felt when she said that there were several "new patients". I imagined those shell shocked Moms and Dads and their sick kids. I imagined what they might have been doing when Kate was just diagnosed and how like us, they probably could never have imagined the road in front of them. I suddenly wanted to meet them, hug them and tell them that I know how they are feeling right now. I have thought about those families a lot for the last 2 days and have been thinking about how there are still more diagnosis to come. It has made me feel very sad too.
Is this morbid? I don't know - I think it is just a reality check for me. In the ER, I often have patients say, "But, I've always been healthy", when I give them a less than favorable diagnosis. To their statement I usually reply, "Everyone's healthy until they're not". Although I am a PA, this isn't something that I have thought of as it pertains to myself or loved ones but it is equally true there. Nobody knows what lies ahead for themselves, their friends or family. I have such an urge to give everyone I love a hug and call them to say how wonderful they are and how much they mean to me.
From this experience I hope to always remember how fleeting our time is and how we need to treasure those that touch our lives. I know I'll never be able to take good health for granted again!