The community of chemotherapy

For Becky Nappi blog
For Becky Nappi blog


Yesterday, while sitting with my friend Chris at her chemotherapy treatment, she wrapped herself in a prayer quilt made by her sorority sister Kass and Kass' Marysville United Methodist Church group. The quilt has pieces of thread throughout, representing prayers said for the person snuggled beneath the quilt.

Soon, a man, who was waiting with a friend during his chemotherapy treatment, approached Chris and asked if the quilt was indeed a prayer quilt and who made it for her? She explained. He said that when he underwent heart surgery five years ago in Florida, his church made him a similar quilt.

If you've never been with a person undergoing chemotherapy as an outpatient, the setting may seem odd at first. There is a line of comfortable recliners in a large room and IV poles and drip lines set up next to those chairs. There is really no privacy between the people receiving chemotherapy, no curtains, no rooms (except when you meet with the doctor or nurse practitioner.)

But the no privacy thing works well, I believe. It allows people to not feel so alone. And it allows for these kinds of conversations -- prayer quilts being made around the world. Healing. Helping.


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Spokesman-Review features writer Rebecca Nappi, along with writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., discuss here issues facing aging boomers, seniors and those experiencing serious illness, dying, death and other forms of loss.



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