Hugging strangers with cancer

I stood in line at the supermarket today, talking with a friend.

“It’s odd how I can’t have antioxidants…“  I said. “I guess they want the chemo drugs to remain in my body.”

The woman in front of me turned.  “Hi…I’m sorry to interrupt.  Did you say you can’t have antioxidants?  I was just diagnosed with breast cancer…just last week.”

She still had that look about her, the one where she didn’t quite believe that it was real.

We stared at each other for a moment, and then I gave this complete stranger a hug.

“One day at a time, right?”


I guess cancer is one shortcut that gets rid of all the bullshit.


Tomorrow is round two.  Then I’ll be half done.

Leave a comment


  1. Linda Labbo

     /  November 24, 2011

    Sisters and brothers unite in the cause. My dad had leukemia and had immediate understanding and rapport with strangers in waiting rooms and hallways in the hospital. There’s a gentle dignity and a lot of humanity in that….

  2. It’s too bad that it takes something like cancer to remove all of the artificial barriers that separate human beings and prevent us from having compassion for each other.

    Cheering you on, love. One day at a time.


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