This story is about the amazing kindness of the people who live in our community, told by Mary Patterson, PA-C, in the Campbell County Medical Group Walk-In Clinic and Occupational Health.
I am currently receiving chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer and frankly, some days I feel pretty awful. But last Sunday was a good day, and I decided to go out and treat myself to a manicure and pedicure at a local nail salon. It was great to sit in the pedicure chair and be pampered. During my pedicure I visited with the small daughter of the customer in the chair next to me.
When I went to the counter to pay for my services, I found out that woman next to me had taken care of my bill. I just stood there and cried like a two-year old at this woman's gift to me, without expectation of anything in return. I couldn't even thank her because she was already gone.
I wish I could remember more about her. I have thought about this act of kindness for several days.
Her lovely gesture has made me want to become more observant and aware of my surroundings as I interact with others. What can I do to ease the burden of other people the way someone helped me? After all, I'm a physician assistant, experienced and trained to observe and listen to my patients in the clinical setting.
I have learned so much being a patient—the strength and resiliency of the people who in the treatment chairs next to me and the care and respect shown to me by the nurses in the oncology unit. Though I certainly wouldn't have chosen to receive a diagnosis of cancer, I can honestly say it has given me the chance to meet wonderful people that I never would have encountered otherwise.
To the stranger who paid for my pedicure, thank you. You don't even know how much you helped me. I will take every opportunity to pay it forward.