Inspiration: Tête-à-tête with a lymphoma warrior

I am always thrilled to share some personal moments, inspired by some exceptional customers I’ve had the utmost pleasure to serve and most importantly, the lessons I derive from them. If you work in customer service, you’ll agree with me that it is not an entirely easy job. I however find beauty in the uniqueness that each day brings. Those joys and challenges form a basis through which I learn and grow.

I was delighted to be of service to a beautiful bald-headed 38 year old Italian lady traveling to South America to visit her mum and daughter.
She had a long, thin, hollow tube (central line) inserted into a vein on her left arm through to her chest which she mentioned was part of ongoing chemotherapy medication after a lymphoma surgery few weeks back.

What is Lymphoma?

Just for your information, lymphoma is a group of blood cell tumors that start in the cells of our immune system. These occur in the lymphatic system that is:
-Bone marrow
-Lymph nodes: groin, chest, abdomen, neck and armpits


The lymphoma attacks white blood cells whose primary responsibility is to protect our bodies against diseases and infections. This multiplies the white blood cells which is regarded abnormal and eventually enlarge our lymph nodes and form masses that otherwise interferes with our normal bodily functions.
There are variety types of lymphomas but the most common types are Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and Hodgkins Lymphoma. Each of those two have a number of sub-types which can be detected during testing due to their varying characteristics.

On approaching the counter, she appeared to be heaving heavily and that got me a bit worried. Well, upon further inquiry on whether she was feeling well, she showed me a needle insert on her arm. She also went ahead to produce very neatly organized medical reports, one of which clearly stated that she was medically fit to fly. On the right side a lunch-box-ish looking typa’ bag hung on her arm, which she said were her prescribed medication that had for weeks become a constant companion.
She appeared to be in pain, though I could see she was trying real hard to conceal that with a graceful smile. I directed her to a place she could sit for a bit and we spoke in soft tones in between heavy breathing. She was happy to share even without my asking. I encouraged her and shared that I had seen my dear mother fight cancer many years back. I really did empathize with her.
As we parted, I felt the sudden need to give her a tight reassuring hug and tell her to hang in there. However, work ethics suggest otherwise so you know! I let it pass.
I instead called her by name and wished her a speedy recovery as well as a pleasant journey. She grasped and clutched my arm tightly, tearfully mumbling her gratitude for the assistance provided.
I was more than glad to have met her and constantly mentioned her to God in prayer for a while after that.
At the end of the day, we are all fighting different battles therefore it is absolutely necessary to treat one another with love and kindness. Whether we know one another or not. My greatest joy is the satisfaction that I can make someone’s burden lighter. To see them smile as a result of my service. There is no greater service than this, I believe.

Sources:, Wikipedia, Lymphoma phone case courtesy of

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