Like many times before, the latest Sock Swag shenanigans took on a life of its own. This was not a premeditated thing. It really started a week ago.
I arrived for the dress rehearsal late last week. Two techs I had not met before were there to greet me. They were intrigued by the socks. The dress rehearsal went as planned, and I was on my merry way. The nurse I spent the most time with stepped into the hall to see the socks. Still, Sock Swag did not click in my little drummer brain.
Day one radiation treatment:
Just like the dress rehearsal with one nuanced different. The tech who called me back took a gander at my socks… like, looked around the chairs to see what I was wearing as I approached the door: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!!! He smirked and chuckled about them as we watched back to the chamber.
Day two was a full day that started with chemotherapy. Dr. Bryson chatted with me and my Wendy, then sent us back to the passenger deck to be greeted by Maggie. She and other nurses offered kind comments and smiles cuz of the socks. Next stop, radiation therapy.
The lead nurse was there in the hallway to see the socks, and the techs and I lamented about the fact that the burgers and beers on the socks were not going to be a part of my diet while undergoing treatment. “Absolute travesty of justice!” we three say.
Day three is when the game really begins. I asked the tech about his socks, “Whatcha wearing today?”
“Black socks is all I got.” he replied as he lifted up a leg of his scrubs.
From there, it was good, old fashion trash talk to get the game started. He seemed a little reluctant, but day four was another chance to get the game going.
Day four… we meet up in the lobby as normal. I immediately call him out, and he shows me the black socks. I reach into a pocket and reveal a pair of flamingo socks as we walk back to the chamber. He takes them and laughs, but it is obvious he is not digging the socks. He returned them to me before we enter the chamber. His team mate is in the chamber. Without hesitation, I gain his attention and pitch the socks to him. He holds them, stares at them, and finally offers the biggest laugh and most the expression I’ve seen from him since I met him. We all share a laugh before they lock me down to the table and step out for the day’s treatment. I took a little detour as I left the chamber, making it a point to see the lead nurse. He is in good spirits while we briefly chat. I grab a couple of pictures of Sock Swag for facebook and leave, planning out some Day Five mischief.
Day Five… It Is Game Time
I rolled in there ready to help people get their game on. My brotha was there to greet me again. I ask about the socks and got the same answer. I reach into the pocket and remove some Stance socks that have pictures of Mohammed Ali and Joe Fraser in the “Thrilla In Manilla.” I ask, “Can you rock these?”
“Yeah…” he says with a big smile on his face.
And guess who is rocking the flamingo socks! Yep… the second tech, and he is laughing as he shows off the socks. We all talked about the weekend plans… then the fun begins for the fifth straight day. There is one more stop to make…. Gotta see the nurse.
He’s in his office like the previous day. He shared that this day started out very rough for him and the staff. So… I reach into the pocket again, this time pulling out a pair of Trix socks. “Could you rock these?”
His facial expression says, “No.” That is okay for me. I reach into the pocket again and withdraw a pair of Lucky Charms socks. He cracks up and says he can do those. We shoot a quick selfie so he can get back to the job and I can be about my business.
These people put themselves in the emotional line of fire every day. They have my respect. Sock Swag and The Game are about these people who willingly put their hearts at risk while serving others. Sure… I served my country for a lot of years, but (in some respects) my service does not compared to the efforts of these people.
Let’s give them something to look forward to when they serve us, alright?