Waiting Room Stories

The Waiting Room has become, for me, as with any Cancer patient I’ve talked to, an eerie place….an ethereal realm where acquaintances and bonds are born, a place where uncertainty lurks in shadowy corners behind doors that open into a sort of afterlife…a life after Cancer, a new world where statistics and blood count levels have come to plague me once again.  I go to clinic twice a week and have learned more about living from these people that sit nervously in chairs next to me, awaiting their futures too, than from any previous experience.

I keep seeing parents, with their little kids…kids with bald shiny heads battling their Cancers with smiles on their faces and toys in their hands…it’s when they’re smiling, that’s when I’m really brought to my knees by their strength.  Children, they are the toughest fighters on earth, I’ve learned the most from them.  Maybe they’re just more mentally tough because they don’t know any better, but when I look deep into those smiling eyes I realize they know something I don’t….

I’ve decided to share two waiting room stories, I picked them up as a fly on the wall…

A mother tells how her child had a small M&M sized bump behind his ear.  She took him to the family’s primary care physician for a checkup.  The Doctor said everything with the child was fine and that the mother should stop worrying, this was of course her first child and she was just being commonly over-protective.  She took her son back home.  Her husband returned from work and was upset at what he felt to be callous behavior on the doctor’s part…the family’s dog had just died from leukemia and he felt that the growth, along with the child’s discolored red gums was a sign.  He called the doctor and the next day went with his wife to bring the child back in.  Upon arriving at the doctor’s office the husband demanded bloodwork, which the doctor laughed at, he refused, how dare a patient demand something so ridiculous…the husband kept pushing and there was almost a physical confrontation, he was sure his son had leukemia.  The doctor, just to prove a point, ordered bloodwork…later that day the results where in, the child did have an acute leukemia, now he is at City of Hope getting treatment along with countless others who’s stories are just as strange.

The man the mother was telling the above story to was a 20 something who listened intently and talked to the child about Star Wars toys, the child’s favorite was Darth Vader, he liked the bad guys best.  The man turned to the mother after and told her his story…how he crashed his motorcycle badly and underwent a CTscan, which revealed he had lymphoma, he was completely floored, his foot still in a cast from the fall.  I remember him saying “What a strange world it is”….I nodded silently to myself, pulling my small notebook from my pocket and scratching everything down with my fountain pen.

Thanks for reading everyone.  I’m day +41, this week brings more tests including another CTscan and engraftment bloodwork, I’ve got my fingers crossed and will be back in the waiting room on Friday…

Love to all.


17 responses to “Waiting Room Stories

  1. Jonathan,
    I was so glad to see that you wrote today and shared photos. You certainly look very handsome and fantastic. I hope your are settling into your new place. You should be very proud of yourself, you are almsot half way there.

    I think about you all the time, mostly so when watching cooking shows. We need to plan a big feast when you come home!

    Hugs and kisses to you all!

  2. Thanks for honoring the children, even as you fight alongside them. I learn something worthwhile from my nine year old cancer “warrior” everyday. Press on! Looks like you’re fighting the good fight and winning!
    Whoops..Evan has a message. He says: “Just tell everyone you are feeling ‘good’…even if it’s ‘hit by an F-150 truck’ kinda good.” Today, Evan feels Toyota Taco– truck good. ” He wants to know if you ‘get it?’
    Kimberly and Evan the Warrior

  3. I too was so happy to see a new post – it’s really so so great to “hear” your voice in your words. Day +41 – how FANTASTIC! You are such an inspriration. I think about you each and every day and wonder how you are over there in Duarte. Sending you lots and lots of love!

  4. Today is Friday….I hope your appointment is in the past and that all is going extremely well. We think of you each and every day and pray that nothing but great health and happiness will be with you from this day forward….. I loved both stories and will add that little guy and the gentleman to our list of thoughts and prayers… Thanks for sharing… love you…

  5. Laura DeSimini

    Hi Jonathan,

    My brother forwarded me the link to your postings. I have been reading for a few months now and keep you, your mother and your girlfriend in my thoughts. Keep up the positive emotions, it has already gotten you so far :). Sending you my best and keep the posts coming!! Laura

  6. Dear Jonathan,
    Thank you for another entry. I wish I knew each and every story.
    I’m so happy to see you! You look great! I know your Mom & Sarah are taking good care of you. We think of you everyday and look forward to your first trip back East.

  7. Loooooking good, keed! Give me a date and I’ll be there (Vegas)….It’s 275 miles across the Mojave at almost a mile high…..I bet I can make it to Duarte in 3 hours with that Hot Rod”!!

    Love as ever,
    Uncle Jack

  8. Goss,

    I wanted you to be the first to know that I’m running the Boston Marathon in your honor. I just got accepted to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society charity team. We’ll be raising money for the cause and running for you on April 20th!

    Check out the website.

    I’ll prank call you from the finish line homey!


  9. Hi Jonathan, When I was growing up, one of my favorite books by Dr. Seuss was; Oh, the Places You’ll Go! One of the main parts of the story was when they were in the ‘waiting room’. Everyone was waiting for something. We’re all waiting for something- moments of joy, glimpses of truth, times of happiness. We’re definitely waiting for you to get better! You will, and we’ll all be here waiting for you. Take care of yourself and my Sarah. xo

  10. Goss, Keep up the fight and the writing. Your always in my thoughts and thinking about you.


  11. Gossman,

    Always in my thoughts man especially on Groundhog Day. “Don’t drive angry, dont drive angry”…Good to see you writing again. We’re all missing you back home brother. It’s not the same not seeing you in so long…soon enough…


  12. Hi Jonathan
    You must be feeling better if you are able to write such a beautiful tale about “the waiting room”. I do believe that this is the last round of your fight and you will be out of the hospital soon. Don’t ever give up. I think about you every day. Love, Aunt Debbie

    Uncle Bobby and I are going the “The Heartbreak Hotel” next week with our Elvis Bucks! Thanks to you!

  13. Well Jon your writing is still the best ever. The waiting room is where you find out your not alone. Your are fighting a war and its the body verses the mind. Don’t let it take over your mind ! Keep up the fight, its long and unbearable at times. The mind will win because I know you can overcome the tough times. Keep up the good fight PILGRIM,Uncle Gregg

  14. Go Jonathan! Twenty seven more days! You can do it!

  15. The Goubeaud's

    Hi Jonathan,

    Your writings never cease to amaze me – it feels like you are right here telling them – a remarkable talent of yours! You and your family continue to be in our hearts and thoughts daily. Stay strong – love you guys! Joyce

  16. Hey Bud,

    Your looking good. Your in my heart. I think about you all the time. Can’t wait to see you.


  17. Dave Villani

    Hi Jonathan,

    I’ve been following your progress and praying for your full recovery. Sounds like things are going well with the bone marrow transplant, except for the horrendous side affects you have been dealing with. That must have been tough.

    Thinking of you a lot.


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