I’ve been sitting on this for a few weeks now as I have found it moves me quite a lot to think about it, even weeks later.
By the end of the first week/mid second week of Erbitux infusions I was in considerable discomfort thanks to the rash and acne on my head. It was near unbearable. I tried to escape it but it followed me everywhere. Rachel suggested I go to the pharmacy for some anti-histamine tablets so I jumped in the car and headed off right away. The weather has been nice and cool here in Sydney the past few weeks and I found myself driving with the window down, the cool breeze passing over my burning head and relieving some of my discomfort.
I arrived at the pharmacy and as I am standing in line a young woman approached me and, with an accent, proceeded to very timidly ask if I was “from Oprah”. I told her that I was and she smiled an enormous smile. She told me she had multiple sclerosis and that for a long time she had been battling serious depression. She told me that after seeing our story on the Oprah show she was so deeply moved and encouraged… and her depression left her. She then thanked me for my courage and for helping her… told me that without me she would still be suffering depression.
And I’m just standing there, conscious of the other customers watching us out of the corner of my eye, desperately trying not to cry, so humbled. Standing there being told by a complete stranger that my own fight is helping them with theirs.
She reached out and shook my hand, we exchanged pleasantries and then she went back into the doctor’s office next door to wait with her sister.
On my way home I had to pull the car over to the side of the road as I was overcome with emotion, the scene playing out in my mind again and again. I began to weep. There was such an overpowering feeling that I had been a part of a very sacred transaction. All of this… the cancer, the fight, the pain, the discomfort, the not knowing… all of it…. it’s not for me, not for my benefit.
It’s for others.
I truly had my eyes opened to a very small but powerful reality that night. I don’t know how to explain it but I feel incredibly privileged to have been able to glimpse just a piece of it. Seeing how God can use something as awful as my cancer to release others is just… overwhelming.
In so many ways cancer is just the most awful experience… but at times like this it feels like such a gift.
Please pray for this young lady. Her name is Dorsa. She’s from Persia and couldn’t be more than 25 years old.
She’s far too young to be facing a life battling MS.