Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
- Leo Buscaglia

Thursday, June 7, 2012

On the Road Again

     As I mentioned in last night's blog post, today I had agreed to do another patient drive as part of the American Cancer Society's Road to Recovery program.  This is the program that matches volunteer drivers with cancer patients who are in need of transportation to their appointments.  It was yet another great experience.
     I had gotten an e-mail and phone call from the patient services coordinator at the Cancer Society because they had a last minute request for a patient needing a ride to the appointment in the morning and then back home in the afternoon.  Since I already had another commitment for the morning, I offered to drive her home if a 2-way driver couldn't be found.  Apparently this was agreeable and I was given the "assignment."
     As usual, the patient was tremendously appreciative.  We had a great conversation on the way home as I learned about her upbringing, her children, and her grandchildren.  She was one of those people who I suspect is nearly always happy.  My sense is that she lived a very fulfilling life, and she was pleased to have most of her immediate family living pretty nearby.  By her demeanor, one would never even know she had cancer.
     I don't mean at all to suggest here that people who have a serious illness like cancer can just smile their way through it and it won't affect them.  But I do wonder what impact, if any, this woman's attitude and perspective on life might have on how she deals with her illness.  Admittedly, I don't know a thing about any of these patients' diagnoses or their treatments.   I only know that's it's fascinating to get to know them, to observe their similarities and differences, and to know that I'm providing a much-needed and appreciated service to them.

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