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  • Writer's pictureDrew Dotson


Sweet Noodle Beagle's eyes say it all. It's day 77, though if you told us it was day 177, we'd believe you. The novelty of Ramón's leukemia diagnosis has worn off, and we've grown accustomed to our new normal -- one that includes constant trips back and forth to Emory, a multitude of naps, and unpredictability from one day to the next. Though we're going through the motions, I find that the sky is bluer, the flowers are prettier, and the dog cuddles are more heartfelt than ever before.

When we're at Winship for infusions, we're surrounded by people who are experiencing some of the worst days of their lives. Yet these tired-of-fighting people have enough energy reserved to treat everyone with love. Or is that the easier thing to do anyways? Aside from one instance where a man answered his phone on speakerphone and angrily yelled "DOES ANYONE IN YOUR OFFICE SPEAK ENGLISH?" to a lady who was indeed speaking English (albeit with an accent), I've only ever seen positive interactions. So, that guy excluded, these are people that feel downright miserable, but they are appreciative, they are patient, and they are kind. If I were to walk into any grocery store right now, I'd probably witness more anger than I do in an entire day surrounded by people at an all-time low.

Though cancer robs a lot of good people of a lot of good things, it gifts us with perspective. When life itself is one big question mark, it's hard to be fazed by the little things. Catch every red light on your drive? That's fine. Wait in the checkout line for twice as long as usual? No problem. See a neighbor's dog pooping in your yard? It happens. These mere inconveniences are all diminished when the ultimate goal is survival. We never quite know what others are facing, so the least we can do is give the benefit of the doubt, coupled with a smile.


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