Road to Recovery

I’ve been meaning to post here for the last week or so.

On June 17th I began my work as a volunteer for the American Cancer Society as a driver in their Road to Recovery program. And what a beginning it was.

Because I am bound to respect the confidentiality of the patients that I drive, I can’t give any real specifics — but I can tell you that it was (if nothing else) a rewarding experience. The patient which I helped that day is battling lung cancer. He has been through surgery and chemotherapy, and yet somehow I was the first person he’d had a chance to talk to who was a cancer survivor who had gone through chemotherapy too.

When I told him of my own treatment, his face glowed with relief, and he began telling me all about the trials he had been through, knowing that he finally had an audience that would understand what chemotherapy really is, and what it does to you. It turned into a long day, his appointment lasting over three hours, and he became very emotional, thanking me repeatedly for helping him. I explained to him that I too had been similarly helped by volunteers through Road to Recovery when I was sick, and that it was a joy for me to be there to help him.

I’ve already accepted another assignment from the ACS, and know that not every ride I give will be as rewarding or eye-opening, or humbling as my first. But I will never forget it.

They tell you to be careful not to become too attached or emotionally involved with the patients you give rides to — but how can I not?

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