I always enjoy "people watching" wherever I go. I love checking out people's hairstyles, outfits, accessories, shoes, smiles, energy, etc. I always wonder what their stories are. If they are texting someone on the phone and laughing, I always wonder who is on the other end. If they are holding hands with the person next to them, I smile wondering how long they have been together. If they are doing something odd (like picking their nose), I wonder what they do when nobody is around them!
But when I am sitting in any of the waiting rooms in the Froedtert Cancer Center, it is a much different experience for me. Everybody sitting around me either has cancer, thinks they have cancer and are being tested to find out, or had cancer at some point, and is there for a follow up to make sure they remain cancer free.
I watch the couples that are holding hands looking scared, and the young man who is wearing a mask, or the son pushing his mother in a wheelchair who is wearing a beautiful scarf to cover her head. When I think about their stories, I always wonder what brought them to this waiting room. It's a very emotional experience for me. I feel a connection to this group of people, differently than I do anywhere else.
I always hope that the news is good for every single one of them. I hope that if they are going through treatment, they are almost done and will soon feel better and get back to routine visits and every day life. I hope that the couple that sits there scared, gets really good news and goes home to celebrate. I always sit there thinking that none of us chose to be in the "cancer world" but here we are … sitting next to each other … waiting.
Next time I go, I'm going to try hard to focus on the fabulous shoes that the woman next to me has on, instead of the worry I have for my own results and appointment, and the worry I have for everybody else in the waiting room!
Share Your Thoughts
What do you think about when you're in the waiting room? What have you noticed about your fellow patients? Share your comments below.