I love school.  I always have.  I loved elementary school.  Middle school.  High school.  And, I loved loved loved college.  One of my favorite things about college was the start of a new quarter.  Fresh notebooks, filled with clean pages.  New pens with bright ink, ready to put their nose to the grind.  Blank lines that would soon be filled with a vast amount of new information.

Everything had been happening so fast.  I was an attentive listener.  I did a lot of nodding.  I followed every direction.  But, in a world where everything suddenly felt so foreign, I realized I still really didn’t know anything.  But, the thing was, I really wanted to know it.  I wanted to know everything.  I was ready to learn.  It was like I was a student, and my new class was Intro to Cancer.

During those hours of my first chemo, I was safe and secure, sitting in the bulky recliner, watching the medication drip through my IV.  With an entire medical staff roaming through the halls, I knew that, from a medical standpoint, I had nothing to worry about.  If I had any questions, I would just ask.  It occurred to me that I would be going home soon.   And, guess what?  I couldn’t take the medical staff with me.  I needed information.  I asked my nurse if she would please tell me everything that I needed to know about what to do next.  She sat down.  I got out my notebook.  She started talking.  I started writing.  As my hand scrawled across the page, I started to feel a little less lost.   She was suddenly my teacher, and I was her conscientious student.  And, one thing I really knew in this world was that I loved being a student.  I knew how to be a student.  I was taking notes.  It was an unexpected place of comfort in the midst of all of this madness.

Armed with my copious notes, I was prepared to go home.  I was ready to put this information into practical use.  I have heard that these days students take notes on their lap tops. I cannot imagine! They are missing that calming and reassuring pen-to-paper experience. I would never trade that in for anything.


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