From the Outside In, Not the Inside Out…

Mitch Schneider
October 5, 2019

I’ve been thinking a lot about this past Thursday. Not just seeing Dr. Snyder, or the results of Thursday’s Labs.

Well, maybe, I was thinking about that just a little.

But, thinking mostly about the doctor’s request to visit with another of his Primary Myelofibrosis patients who was on Day 3 of his conditioning Chemotherapy, and my trip back to Helford Hospital and the 6th Floor where transplant patients begin their journey.

I believe it is an honor to be asked. To recognize that after all these years of seeing Dr. Snyder and being six months post-transplant, he feels confident I can help.

What doesn’t feel great is being carried back in time through your own experience. What you see, hear and feel as an inpatient. The metallic taste of the infusions, the lesions and the inability to swallow. The anxiety and insecurity that accompanies not knowing what it will take to get through it all.

I was lucky. I never doubted that I would survive. I just wasn’t sure how.

Watching patients slowly make their way up and down the 6th Floor hallways, IV stands in tow, transports you right back to your own struggle. Your struggle to Eat, Walk and Drink. It forces you to look at what it took to face your demons: to conquer your fears.

Being back on the 6th Floor to serve the needs of someone about to go through what you just experienced allows you to see it all from a different perspective: from the outside in, which is very different from looking at it all from the inside out. Something you almost have to experience to continue your journey forward.

It is a Master Class in empathy. A tutorial in compassion.

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