Beautifully Healed

The glass, automatic double doors slide open and close, time and time again during the course of the five-hour time frame where I stand front and center as a navigator and helper to those entering MD Anderson Hospital.  There are many who, like me, consider MDA a familiar place as they have undergone treatments and follow-up visits for several years or have stood by the side of a loved one undergoing treatment for a lengthy amount of time.  On rare occasions, I have visited with patients who have been under the care of doctors in the MDA system for twenty plus years.  However, every single day, hundreds enter the front doors for the first time with those closest to them in tow with a look of frantic desperation, tears, and sadness.  The appearance of being lost, confused, and the question of hope is more often than not embedded on their facial expressions.  This was true for one such woman this week as I stood in my usual place, watching patients and families pass through the doors of the greatest Cancer treatment center in the world.

“Good morning!”, I said to her as she hesitantly approached.  Her husband was only two steps behind with a folder full of lab results and scheduling paperwork under one arm along with his iPhone in hand, scrolling with his thumb, obviously hoping to find that he was in the correct building.  Each of them with their own set of concerns; he, trying to insure a timely appointment arrival and she, wanting someone… anyone, to assure her that she was going to survive her recent Cancer diagnosis.  After exchanging pleasantries, I asked to see her appointment schedule.  Her husband was more than willing to pass the responsibility over to me as it can all be very intimidating and overwhelming to a new-comer.  I flipped through three stapled pages until I found the correct date, time, and clinic address which read:  Thoracic, Elevator B, 9th floor, 9:15.  My heart sank as I quickly swallowed, took a deep breath and raised my head.  Under their seemingly dazed condition, I decided to personally escort them to their first appointment to guarantee they did not get lost in the maze of elevators and corridors, further adding to their anxiety.

On the elevator ride to the 9th floor, I learned that the couple was from Alabama and had just arrived in Houston the night before.  Obviously exhausted and frazzled to the last nerve, both were reserved in their conversation.  The elevator door opened and the three of us stepped off with me in the lead.  During the next twenty-five or so steps, I prayed for strength, peace, and a word of encouragement that I might offer to relieve the couple’s burden.  As we rounded the corner on the left, just above our heads was the official signage hanging from the ceiling, THORACIC.  Once again, I prayed, “Lord help me to be a comfort”.

The hospital has upgraded its check-in process to an iPad system.  It is pretty straight forward as one is asked to enter basic information.  However, for new patients, the sight of a computer screen in their already nervous, concerned condition can be very daunting.  The husband and wife looked at each other as if to question which one was going to attempt to sign in.  I chuckled with them and offered my assistance to enter her information to which they again gladly accepted.  After I pushed the “send” button, completing the process, I turned to them and said, “Okay, you’re good to go.  Just make yourselves comfortable until they call your name.  I want you to know that you’re in the best hands and you’re going to receive great care here.  I actually spent nineteen months in this very clinic with my mom.”  They both looked shocked and relieved to hear these words coming from me.  The woman asked, “What kind of cancer did your mom have?”  I replied, “Lung cancer.”  She responded, “Oh, that’s what I have!  How’s your mom doing now?”  With a smile on my face, I looked straight into her eyes and said, “My mom is beautifully healed”.   Her face lit up as she wrapped her arms around me.  Giving me a big squeeze, she said, “That’s wonderful!”  As I was locked in her arms, I glanced over her shoulder at her husband.  With tears in his eyes, he winked at me as if he understood. His wife was still smiling as she released her arms from around me and turned to take a seat in the waiting area.  Having completed God’s assignment, I headed back to the first floor to take my position at the front door.

18 thoughts on “Beautifully Healed

  1. Oh my goodness! Brought tears to my eyes for sure. God gave you the perfect answer. I send thanks to you from all of the cancer patients that enter that hospital that your life touches every day as you are the hands of Jesus extended!


    1. Thank you, Aunt Patti. Nothing, not even death is wasted in God’s economy. I’m humbled to be used in a small way. Love you!


  2. Oh Sandy, what a precious moment in your walk with the Lord. Bless you for the answer to her question of your Mother’s whereabouts. I am sure the Holy Spirit gifted you with it just when you needed it! And it was oh, so true. Thank you for sharing this with me and I will share it with Arnold. You made me want to volunteer, too. I, too, lost my Mom to lung cancer in 1977. She was 66 and a lifetime two pack a day smoker. She taught me about Jesus, faith and many other lasting truths that helped me survive some dark times in my life. Love, (and keep writing) – Tomi


  3. I have always loved that picture of the three of you at MDA. Everyone looks so happy. I have always loved your writings as well, Sandra. You do have a gift and you do use it well. Thank You . I certainly miss my sister and we think and speak of her often. Love to all of you.


    1. One of my favorite photos of Mom as well. Miss her and also miss keeping up with the sisters! Would love to post some of your poetry if you would be willing to be a guest on my blog. Others would enjoy your writing, I’m sure!


  4. Sandra,
    You are amazing! As long as I’ve known you, you have always had a huge caring heart. God has given you unique abilities, talents and gifts and those lives you touch, even if it’s a simple hug or smile are blessed.


  5. Sandra, What a beautiful message! This came to me today, when I needed it most. I know we should always trust that what is happening as God’s will. His plan is not always an easy one. Thank you for always putting it in perspective. I wish we were at MDA, but we are at Hermann. Continued prayers for Everett. Hugs my friend!


    1. Oh, Cathy. I’m very sorry Everett is on this journey. He is so blessed to have you, his big sister travel the road with him. I understand how difficult it is to watch your loved one in pain. I’m praying for Everett’s healing as well as your strength and witness to those watching you. Love you, sweet friend.

      “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” John 16:33


  6. My dear Sandy….you are definitely right where the Lord has called you to be. He is speaking through your quiet strength and loving heart to those who so need it….I am thanking the Lord for your presence there. Hugs to you, my friend!


  7. Sandy, you write so beautifully! When you write, I feel as though I am there experiencing this exchange personally. Please don’t ever stop writing!! You have been given an amazing gift!! Thank you for sharing!! I miss you!!


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