Jay P. Granat, Ph.D.
My wife began the first part of her beating cancer marathon today with a visit to the blood lab.
There are about fifteen phlebotomists and another half dozen support staff in this part of the building.
The waiting is not too bad. It is kind of a sad place, however, as there are many people who are clearly quite ill waiting to have their blood drawn..
Most of the patients and their family members keep to themselves.
There is little conversation and little eye contact with their fellow warriors.
I think it would be beneficial if talking and sharing was encouraged in this room.
After all, people can share a lot of their thoughts on doctors, resources, coping and managing.
I struck up a conversation with a few people sitting near me.
Because we all have loved ones trying to beat cancer and add time and quality to their lives, every person in that room has a strong bond with one another.
These waiting rooms in cancer facilities can be used for support and for building a spirit of hope and healing. While people are waiting their turn they can get the human interaction they need to minimize the loneliness that this disease can produce.
This reminds me of some the team building techniques I have used in working with sports teams.
Some research I did some time ago, indicated that relationships and love were among the most important things in people’s lives. Why not tap into these human connections while people are being treated. I also believe some levity could be helpful.
So, the next time I take my wife Robin for a treatment, I will continue engaging and talking with others and I will try to lift their spirits a bit while I give my own emotions a much needed boost.
The article below, talks a bit more about my ideas on this topic and my plans to run a support group.