Thursday, July 23, 2009

Friends and Strangers

Yesterday was Ned's second chemo treatment. All those little bags on the left are dripping "stuff" that help with the side effects of chemo and so far they seem to be working very well.

We are so fortunate to have family and so many friends who are surrounding us with attention. We have received phone calls and emails from friends and co-workers from years ago. We are being entertained with dinners. A friend and I went to lunch yesterday and then she came back to the doctor's office and sat with me while Ned was getting chemo. Between the medical treatment schedule and our social schedule we certainly don't have time to be bored.

But what amazes me is how many people we don't know have also rallied around us. So many of you blog readers that I haven't met have sent best wishes both on the blog and by email. Everyone of them is appreciated. CH, one of the blog readers here in Houston has offered to help in any way she can. She lives in the area of town where we owned a home and we have now met face to face over a cup of coffee.

This is a story about the kindness of a stranger that came out of the blue but meant so much to me when it happened. We thought that Ned's cancer could be removed with surgery and we would be able to move on. Over and done with. We checked into the hospital early one morning for the surgery with high hopes.

After Ned was taken off to surgery I was in the surgical waiting room. In the room was a woman with her feet pulled up in the chair and wrapped in a blanket dozing. She woke and folded her banket. We talked a bit like you do in waiting rooms and I learned that her husband had had three major surgeries that week because of complications.

Later that morning when the surgeon came out to tell me that he wasn't able to do the surgery as planned, I'm sure she could see the concern and sadness in my face. An hour or two later, she walked by and handed me an tiny yellow sack. She patted my shoulder and said, "Here is a little gift." On the sack was written, "I just met you but I was led to get this for you. Remember, regardless of the news the doctors give, our Great Physician is in control. Marty" Inside the sack in yellow tissue paper was a silver-dollar-sized coin that had a Biblical inspired saying on it. I was so touched. The little coin is of little material value but her kindness was golden.

I really don't know how to say Thank You to all our friends and to all the strangers who have been so supportive to us except to say, "Thank You."


Tina said...

Hi Billie, we've never met, but I think we live fairly close to you in San Miguel. I'm so sorry the surgery didn't work out for your dear Ned. But glad for you that there is so much support and obvious love pouring your way. I wish you all the best in your continuing journey, and hope to meet you both one day soon in San Miguel. Take care, Tina

glorv1 said...

I think that was so nice of that lady to do that. It shows you that even strangers do care. I hope for the best for your husband Ned and of course you. You are a very strong woman. Take care and my thoughts and prayers are with you.

DanaJ said...

Wouldn't it be funny if Ben from Babsblog and the Flying Beaver
popped up in your waiting room?

Calypso said...

No need to thank anyone Amiga - thank you for sharing your lives with us. It is hard to express the concern we have for you and Ned right now. It is an honor to be your Internet friends.

John & Anita

pitchertaker said...

Isn't it nice to know this ol' world a nice place to live....

DSR said...

Have been thinking of you and Ned! Hope it is not too overwhelming.

Billie said...

Once again I'm touched by all the good thoughts that are coming our way.

Jim Knoch and Wendy Weber said...

Hola Ned and Billie:
Wendy and I have finally arrived in SMA fulltime and hopefully San Jorge Street will never be the same!
We just updated with you blog and learned of Ned's cancer. Please know that our hearts are with you and that the prayers and strong thoughts of all your friends and family will be the curative.
Stay strong....stay strong.
Jim and Wendy

Billie said...

Jim and Wendy, glad you are full time in SMA so that you will be there when we get back in September. Looking forward to seeing you then.

mcm said...

Dear Billie -- Thank YOU (and Ned!) for taking the time to inform so many people about the realities of cancer diagnosis and treatment. And how one can deal with both in a sane fashion.
You're a great example of how folks can take the the blows (like, we have a choice?), and incorporate them into life, without being overwhelmed by them, and without letting the cancer take over (more than it already does).
So, thank you.

Bob Towery said...

Ned and Billie:

From one cancer survivor to a future one - keep the faith. Every day we are able to fend off the big C. Mine was 23 years ago, and at the time I was told I had a 60% chance, now I have learned that long term is more like 25%, so I'm a believer. Hang in!