Sunday, February 9, 2014

Stories of Life and Death

The past week has been quite a change of pace for me since I’ve been under the weather and have had to go to numerous doctor appointments and have studies performed. One of these studies included a CT Scan that luckily showed everything is A-Ok. Still, throughout my visit to the center, I couldn’t help but be amazed by how many storytellers I was surrounded by.

When you are at a high profile imaging center, you may see people who are dealing with countless situations. In my case, I came into contact with 3 cancer patients, 1 heart patient, a man who has survived 6 strokes and a young man who produces kidney stones as if it were a hobby (I’m quoting him on that bit). Each of these people is a storyteller.

What resulted interesting is how the tone of their stories reflected the tone of their body language. A woman who was given 3 months to live, has beat those odds by 8 and a half years and you really have to see this sweet lady to believe her. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a cancer patient who is so agreeable and nonchalant with her condition. She was like an older version of Ed Rooney’s assistant, Grace, from Ferris Bueller’s day off. Even with cancer metastasized throughout her body and countless chemotherapy sessions and surgical interventions, she was as happy go lucky as could be. Her story was not a sad one; it was a funny one because she kept proving doctors wrong and everyone is going, how the hell is she alive.

Right in front of this wonderful woman was another nice lady, though much darker in disposition. She was trying to laugh it off, still, it was apparent how bitter she was because of the cards dealt and the pain she was enduring. She was angry, cynical and skeptical. Without saying it, she was screaming, look at me, I’m going to die, take a picture it’ll easily last longer than me. Her story was also of cancer though an aggressive type and more localized. Still, she was kind, shared her story and in all honesty, no one deserves to go through cancer.

In addition, I saw a man who postponed heart surgery for over a year. Like many others I heard from, he was given 3 months to live, and he is currently beating the count by 6 years and change. He was a funny old man, skeptical sure, though he was funny and sad at the same time. His tone communicated that he was alive, though he didn’t know for how long, though he didn’t think much. Still, he was going to make the most of it because what other choice does he have.

These three lovely people shared their stories because I was there and was willing to listen and oftentimes, people just need someone to listen to their stories. You don’t need to comment, you don’t even need to share your story, you just need to listen and they’re happy. I can totally relate because although my stories aren’t related to my health, I do love it when I can share them with someone.

So here’s to our stories and to telling them with zeal, detail and style.

Peace, love and maki rolls,


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