As Bonnie and I enjoyed lunch with each other yesterday we sat across the table and as I looked at her during the discussion I saw zero self-pity in her eyes – all I saw was determination. We talked about a great many things on this wet and gray afternoon but the clouds outside did not hinder her resilience. Some startling facts of the day made this lunch a must have for the two of us.
The nurse navigator confirmed there is a three to four-month recovery process requiring weekly visits to the surgeon. The calendar can be our friend as we jot down friendly reminders to do things, but when you start adding three to four months to a calendar already full of reminders it’s quite a cold shower.
Here’s the problem – and this is for all of you reading this should this disease ever confront you or someone you love. When we first met with the plastic surgeon on the 10th of February she stated … and I quote … “three to four weeks, with weekly visits to ensure things are going smoothly” … whenever the same plastic surgeon called the other day to check in she used the words “months” instead of “weeks” … that’s a tremendous difference, yes? Bonnie and I wrestled with this news when we found out – I feel so useless at times. Bonnie then contacted the nurse navigator who confirmed “months”.
So instead of looking at a full recovery during the showers of April – we’re now forwarded out to the July neighborhood?
You may have read a reference to our issue in the poem yesterday … “tubes, drains, pajamas / why me she asks” – this is all in reference to the information we had just received.
During our lunch I sat up straight – held my hands in the air and said “but you know, in less than a dozen tomorrows your cancer will be totally removed” and after a slight tingle in my own spine she realized this is a marathon and not a sprint, she smiled – still pissed at the recent news mind you – but smiled nonetheless.
I have a call into Dr. Goodman’s office right now to hopefully shed some light on the weeks vs. months issue. With any luck at all you’ll be reading about the change in our own calendar in the next blog.
In the meantime –add these two new terms to your breast cancer survivor list:
Anchoring – a reaching back to our spiritual roots, taking what was secure from the past in order to be ready for the future.
Cocooning – The need to find a safe space to protect oneself from the harsh, unpredictable realities of the outside world.
There are a number of anchors from our past we’ve become to rely on recently – each of you reading this can consider yourself an anchor. It helps Bonnie know there are so many of you out there thinking of her each and every day. Many of you are on the phone with her regularly – keep that up – and thank you. Others have already made flight plans to our town along the river to help Bonnie in her recovery.
Cocooning is a term relayed to me recently from a woman who went in for a breast cancer surgery just yesterday. We began conversing with each other via email and blog comments when she came across the word “surreal” in one of the poems I posted. After she read the blog “One Darn Good Couch” she explained to me that we were beginning the “cocooning” process in order to be ready for our big day. Her big day was yesterday and after reading the multiple blogs her husband posted last night it turns out things went very smooth for her. Now her recovery process begins.
I’ve asked each of you to “keep her close” and you have in your own way – thank goodness for this keyboard which gives me all the letters I need to use in relaying the day-to-day.
Bonnie was in great spirits this morning as we began our day. She has a fantastic support system at work – her coworkers and her boss are right there beside her during the day – just as each of you are.
As always …
Keep her close you guys …
This will more than likely be the last post until the weekend eclipses. Our oldest daughter Taylor is scheduled to arrive at SFO on Friday afternoon … spring break in Petaluma! The whole gang will, including LuLu under one roof again. 🙂