WeekendCoffee Cancer Fight

pinkribbonIf we were having coffee today I’d apologize for my recent absence. We’ve had a lot going on these past few weeks and it was difficult to find the time to sit down and share a little of what was going on.

What’s the deal?  The BIG “C” is what we’ve been dealing with.
My darling wife was diagnosed with breast cancer and we’ve been completely absorbed with a wild mix of office visits, biopsies, blood draws, mammograms (and more mammograms + ultrasound + more X-Rays),  bad news, and finally surgery.
Worry is the worst of it.  We worried about the diagnosis, about the prospect of surgery and its many possible complications, and we worry about the reality of a lifetime of changes.  Worry alone is enough to wear anyone out.
She had a double mastectomy almost two weeks ago.  Big reality check:  It basically involves not one but two amputations.
Let that sink in for a minute. Amputations.
It has been both physically and psychologically taxing for her.  She feels she has lost part of what makes her a woman. Think about it.  We live in a society that is obsessed with breasts and here she is losing hers in her own private war on cancer.  Me? I am just busy trying to be there for her while at the same time trying to keep the animals fed and the house in some vague resemblance of order.  I also help her keep track of her meds and monitor her symptoms, and of course, I have to manage her drainage tubes.
I try to reassure her that, in my mind, really, what makes her a woman is HER.  She’s still there completely, along with all of her love, her intelligence, and especially that feisty survivor attitude. To me, THAT is what makes her a woman, not those appendages. She’s my other half and she always will be.  Sure, I’m a man.  I love breasts … especially hers.  But I’ve psyched myself to hate the cancer that was in them.  For me, it was a no-brainer.  I’ve still got HER and that is all that matters to me.  I am inspired by her inner strength.
I’d long heard the term “breast cancer survivor”… but now I have a much better understanding of what that means.  I’ve seen these first phases of it first hand.  We were told that the second she was diagnosed she joined the ranks of survivors.  I also know there is a vast sisterhood out there of her fellow survivors.  It is astounding to learn how many lives have been touched by breast cancer.  Survivors are everywhere. My hat is off to all of you.  Every single one of you deserves everyone’s total respect: this is a sisterhood that needs to be heard.  As I sat in the waiting room at the Duke University Medical Center Breast Clinic during her breast biopsies I realized this affects young and old, all races, all sizes, all religions, rich, poor … it can affect anyone, every day, every month, every year.
I also understand now that “breast cancer” is not a singular entity.  That is a highly generic term.  I’ve learned that every single patient has their own version of the disease, with its unique currents and whirlpools in the stream of life. Specific treatments of even similar ‘types’ of cancer cells can take many twists and turns. She’s still in the early stages of treatment.  The pathology of her cancer cells shows a certain promise of optimism for a long-term cure but the jury is definitely still out and we are sitting in a darkened waiting room of an uncertain future. It will likely be weeks before we know the plot of the next chapters of her story.
I told her last night she is a Warrior Woman in her new lifelong battle with cancer.  Her scars are battle scars. Together we are going to beat this and kick this cancer’s ass.
So, dear coffee friends, that is the reason for my absence the last couple of weeks.  Please donate to valid breast cancer research charities, like The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.  I like them because a very high percentage of the money they receive goes to research.
Please reblog this or tweet and retweet links to this post.  Please share your own stories in the comments.   We have got to win this fight.

8 thoughts on “WeekendCoffee Cancer Fight

  1. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your wife. Your writing here made me cry – your wife is blessed to have you, and it served as a reminder of how blessed I am to have the support of my husband through my own (very different) health struggles. Thank you for sharing your struggles.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am so sorry that you and your wife and the rest of your family are going through this battle of the beast. It is a family affair. You are all lucky to have each other and to live in a time when treatment is so hopeful. I have been living with breast cancer for eleven years now. It started off as Stage I, but now it is Stage IV. My advice is to for you and your wife to do what you want to do, make your life stories about love and life. All the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your wife is lucky to have someone like you by her side supporting her every step of the way. You are right – amputation is the only word for it and it does have an effect on your psyche and view of yourself as a woman. Your attitude and support will lessen the impact for her. A friend of mine post amputation had a husband who from that point on would not look at her naked and this amplified my friend’s own feelings of no longer being a woman that someone could desire. She has undertaken numerous treatments to minimize her loss such as reconstructive surgery and tatooing. I wonder if her husband had been like you whether she would have felt the need to do this. I hope your optimism is rewarded and all is well into the future. My friend is now nearly 20 years a survivor. I donate in Australia but I will tweet your post. I hope you both have a very good week.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m sorry about what your wife has been going through. You two seem to have the right attitude and it sounds like she couldn’t have a better partner than you to face the fight. Hoping for the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My deepest symphony and thoughts are with you. A close family member battled breast cancer for many years. You have my prayers. I’ve been the one sitting in the waiting room with her, spending endless days in hospitals waiting for results. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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