Saturday, December 06, 2014

the captains make a road trip

This is me with Kristi, my Livestrong instructor. She is amazing because she believes love always wins.

We heard this week about another member of my group, Mary Reichel, who has had a nasty recurrence of her cancer. Mary was diagnosed with cervical cancer two years ago but had a brain aneurysm before she could complete her treatment. Now, the cervical cancer has come back with a vengeance in her abdomen. She is a single mom of two kids and she had a job with no benefits and no sick time.

First of all, it makes me so angry that in our wealthy country where baseball players make millions of dollars per game, THIS kind of shit can happen to people. No sick time? No benefits? Heartless bastards.

So, Kristi and I texted a few times yesterday morning. I said Captain Livestrong might need to make a trip to Rochester. You don't mention anything on a whim to better just get in the car if you do. Two hours later, we are going down the road, Captain Livestrong and Captain Lovestrong.

We got some funny looks in the hospital corridors but they are trained professionals and try to maintain their composure. A couple of maintenance men in the elevator wanted to hear the story and a couple other people laughed and clapped and said more people should dress like this. We agreed.

Mary was tickled to see us and I'm glad we were there. She had gone down Tuesday for a routine exam and even though she had not been well for a couple months, did not know it was this serious. She had been alone for two days waiting for family to come from far away places to help with treatment decisions.

I am fairly worthless in situations like this, staring dumbly like a deer in the headlights, but Kristi is a take charge kind of woman and had questions for the oncologist and the radiology consultant. By the time we left, Mary's cousin was there and her brother was expected any minute. We left her in good hands.

It felt like sacred moments we spent with her. I am not sure why.

P.S. Don't be concerned about my violation of her privacy. All of this information is on her fund-raising page which is very public and going around Facebook like wildfire. You can't be in straits like this and not be willing to ask people for help. You can't sit back in the shadows being private. Say a prayer for Mary and if you are able, make a donation. She is a sweet person and doesn't need to be worried about money at a time like this.

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