Today prior to radiation, I met a older man (Joe) & a married couple from Illinois.
The conversation all started out by Joe stating he liked my peacoat. He was in the Army and always wanted a peacoat like the Navy. Both he and the couple continued to tell me that they live together. I said "Oh, are you related?" They said they live in the Hope House which is housing for out of town Siteman patients. Joe told the couple he is losing weight. The husband said he is going to start fixing Joe some eggs & bacon for breakfast.
I wanted to know Joe's grocery needs after finding out about his weight issue. "I want to buy you food. What do you like? What are you craving?" His response "A snickers bar". I said in good conscience I couldn't buy that due to the sugar content. (I had previously told them about the flax diet & sugar info.) "Is there anything else you would like?" Joe stated he likes braunschweiger. "Anything else? What about fruit or veggies?" He said he also likes oranges. I told him about clementines. He agreed. Lastly he wanted some Boost. I said I would buy that although it also has ALOT of sugar.
It was time for me to have my treatment. I told the therapist to wait for I was having an important converstation. She said for me to come back when I was finished.
Quickly I told Joe that I will see him on Tuesday with his clementines, braunschweiger & boost. He asked "Why are you doing this?" My response "Because you are loved."
After my radiation Joe was still in the waiting room. I was intrigued by the man I was buying groceries for. I decided to sit and get to know him a little further. I am so glad I did.
After sitting I asked Joe if he added to the grocery list while I was gone. He smiled and said no. So here is what I found out about my new friend Joe. He is 80 years old and had surgery on his left side of his face due to cancer close to his ear drum. Skin was grafted from his leg for his face. While in surgery on December 2 his wife, Gwenevive passed away in her sleep. He resides in southern Missouri near Popular Bluff. I was crying at this point & so was he. He said his first wife passed away at the age of 28 with cancer. They had a 4 & 6 year old at the time. He currently has 6 children. He is so grateful for his kids. They are so supportive. His son even came up the other night to take him out for a good steak dinner.
It was time for Joe to have his therapy. I then departed with a heavy heart yet, thankful that I was able to hear his life story. I am confirmed that all of us have a story. We are broken in some way. I told Joe I would love to attend his wifes memorial. He will have it after his treatment is finished - sometime in mid February or later.
As for me - I threw up on the drive home. I am glad I have my empty 2 lb. yogurt container in my cancer bag. It came in handy today. My stomach is still not feeling well. After speaking to JoAnn, my oncologist nurse she said it is uncommon to have nausea that late after taking the chemo. It usually occurs after the first hour of taking it. Pray I can eat some light lunch.
*Note: Normally it is chemo/Temador that causes the vomitting not radiation. I will have chemo EVERY day for the next 6 weeks. Radiation is only M - F unless there is a holiday.
Thinking of Joe.