This past week I had some labwork drawn at the hospital. I'm part of a study which tests the effects of taking Vitamin D in patients with chronic kidney disease (which I developed after chemotherapy). I have to have blood drawn several times during the next six weeks.
As I was getting labwork the other day, I sat beside a pleasant gray headed woman who also was getting blood drawn. She may have even been part of the same study. Nevertheless, the nurse was having difficulty obtaining her lab. She described how the dear lady's veins were "rolling", making the venipuncture challenging. The nurse eventually gave up and said she would have to get another nurse to try to get the blood, calling the other nurse one of the "big guns". Yet, what impressed me was the patient's attitude. After she was stuck a couple of times, she seemed to endure the lab attempts with a smile. When told another nurse would be coming to try to get the blood, she said, "That gives me a chance to meet more people." I thought, "Wow!! What a great attitude!". Instead of complaining about the multiple lab sticks, she saw this as an opportunity to meet more folks.
Come to think of it, a hidden benefit of having cancer or major illness is getting to meet more people. As a result of cancer, I've met several urologists, oncologists, nephrologists and numerous other health care professionals. I have met Brenda Ladun, a local news anchor who is a breast cancer survivor, at a special dinner where we both spoke of our experiences. There is also those whom I have met through my books. One lady even called me one night from Palm Springs, California after reading one of my books. I remember another woman calling me from Idaho or South Dakota (long way from where I live).
It is said that "no man is an island." Even though I would not wish my cancer experience upon anyone, I am certainly grateful for the many people I continue to meet because of it.
By the way, have we met before?