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Cheryl's Way
Cheryl Cloud
1956 - 1995

During her many stays in the hospital, Cheryl Cloud met and became friends with a great many of the patients and staff there. One person was Actor/Writer David Grant Wright. "Cheryl's Way" is an excerpt from his one man show entitled: "With Flying Colors." It appears with David's permission and he feels honored by its usage.

Cheryl's Way

Cheryl came walking by one day and popped in to say "Hi." It was toward the end of my stay and I was on my third day of recovery from abdominal surgery. We got talking, and in a rather perky, unselfconscious sort of way, Cheryl passed on several interesting things about herself. She was thirty-six and she had been dealing with cancer for quite a while. She named several different organs that it had invaded. "In fact," she said, she had just had her seventh surgery that morning. "My God," I replied, "and you're up walking around already! What kind of surgery did you have?" "Abdominal," she chirped. There I lay having barely moved in three days from the same surgery, and she was out doing laps* already. Still standing at the foot of my bed she went on about her husband and her two kids, and what a nice day it was outside.

Three months later I talked with one of the nurses over the phone. I was in a new apartment by now and doing quite well. She mentioned that Cheryl had just left the hospital again after yet another surgery. I asked her to call me if and when Cheryl should come back in. It was another couple of weeks later when she called and said,

"Cheryl's back."

I raced over to the hospital. This time it was I who stood at the foot of her bed, but she was still the strong one. She lay there quiet and tired. She was glad to see me, though, as she relayed all the information about her now surgery number nine. Halfway through the conversation, she started to get excited, as they were going to try a new kind of chemo on her in a few weeks that would go directly to her largest tumor. This enthusiasm was not feigned in any way. This woman lay there, her body full of cancer, and yet everything was wonderful because there was something else to try. Cheryl would never, and I mean never, stop trying. That was her way.

* The Cancer ward at the hospital was round and post operative patients were encouraged to excercise by making their way (with I.V. pole on wheels) around the floor. This was known as "doing laps." For more information about "With Flying Colors" contact David via e-mail. His address is: wrightdavid@juno.com