“You will speak normally again.” It’s a voice from behind me. I’ve just finished speaking at the HEAL tea last month. I turn to face a stranger. She is smiling, beautiful, and somehow has knowledge of speaking abilities to come.
“I had to come talk to you,” she continues. “I had the same cancer, nineteen years ago. I know it’s frustrating but you will speak normally again. I sounded exactly the same.” Her words are like those of an angel.
“Really?” say I. Her voice is even. She speaks perfectly. There is no indication she ever garbled through sentences. I’ve heard before that speech will return to normal, but never from someone who actually traveled the trail. She’s filling me with hope and I want to get to know her better.
“I promise,” she says. “I know what you’re going through and I would love to talk about it.”
“That would be amazing.” I gush like a teen seeing a pop star.
She tells me some of her story including that now she works to help those with cancer. She devotes her life to it. She took her skills and turned them into a way to help those on the cancer journey.
I want to know her story. But, if indeed she is doing something to help, the world needs to know her, know this. Besides, it will make great blog copy. Always looking for copy. We meet for lunch. She tells me not to worry about eating in public when I tell her my feeding tube has just left. She knows a place with the soup she lived on for months after her tube was removed. The Universe has placed a real live human helper in my path.
She orders for me and tells her story of eating, speaking and what is to come. Her experience so mirrors mine, my mind feels, perhaps, that “normalcy” is on its way. There are differences-big ones. She was only in her twenties and pregnant when the diagnosis shattered her young life. Seems twenty years ago, my cancer, our cancer, offered a limited life span for patients, jaw breaking surgery since a robot was not yet invented and plastic surgery afterward. But the speech, the eating, the feeding tube remain the same. Finally, someone who knows I want to face the wall so no one sees if soup should dribble down my chin and doesn’t care how many times she must say, “Pardon me.”
Her work is in insurance. Back on her feet, against the odds placed in her path, she searched for a way to help with the financial devastation of cancer patients. She met a doctor creating a new insurance; as so many of his patients stopped treatment due to cost. She turned her business around and now offers products, physician approved, to relieve the financial burden placed on cancer families.
Whaaaa? Mind blown—why don’t people know about this? It’s new. It’s innovative. It’s cutting edge. As with all things freshly offered, some hesitate. Not this girl.
The plan—share information, change lives, aid cancer girls. All this because someone wants to assure me that I will speak normally again? Kin comes forward at the strangest times, non?