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'I See People at Their Best': The View From My Chemo Chair

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While I sit in a chemotherapy chair surrounded by those who are sick and dying…

I see love.

I see hope, kindness, family and friendship.

I see just how remarkable the human spirit can be. How flexible, how positive, how much we can endure while still managing a smile and a laugh.

I see the power of a kind word, how the mere presence of a loved one can give us strength.

I see how the smile of a stranger can lift our spirits.

I see people at their best. Helping those around them, thankful for a tea or a warm blanket, thankful for an encouraging test result, grateful for successful treatments, grateful to be alive.

We are connected here.

All with the same wish — to heal.

Our priorities have shifted. We aren’t concerned with material possessions, career advancements or financial success. We just want to be alive. We want to experience as much as we can and spend as much time as we can with the people we love. I find it strange that sometimes it takes going without to be truly grateful. Why does it sometimes take a tragedy to open your eyes and make you see what is really important?

I am reminded of this as the holiday season approaches — reminded of how truly grateful I am just to be alive. To be here, surrounded by people I love, just soaking it all in. As I get busy with the to do lists it becomes easy to let this grateful feeling slip, to go back to old ways and take for granted the wonder that is life.

This Christmas amidst the hustle and bustle, the gift buying, the decorating, cleaning, baking and food prep — I will make time for the things that truly matter. I will take a moment to pause and take it all in. I will get out of my head and into my life. I will slow down, take a look around, be present and appreciate all I have. Because I am so very lucky.

Photo credit: zgr_pro/Getty Images

Originally published: December 17, 2018
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