In October in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness I will post a daily blog with a reflection about breast cancer. The reflections will stem from something in the play. (All quoted lines are text from the play.)
Day 7: Now what? We got the news. I don’t remember the ride home. I do remember what I was thinking, which seemed entirely different from what Susan was thinking. “We need to make some phone calls now,” I was thinking. Susan had insisted we “not say anything to anyone unless there is an issue.” Now there was an issue. Who do you call first? What do you say? How do you say it? You see, I already assumed the outcome. With the extensive cancer, the history of our families – both Susan and my mother dying from Breast Cancer, in my soul I saw the road ahead. It terrified me. Our first call was to our reform Jewish Temple. We had been members for 27 years and in fact both Susan and I had been president of the Congregation. Temple Rodef Shalom. While I made the call, once we were transferred to the clergy person on call, our Cantor, it turns out, “I couldn’t talk. I couldn’t say ‘the words.’” I had to turn the phone over to Susan who “calmly and matter-of-factly told him about the diagnosis and that she would be having surgery.” Where do you turn for comfort and support? We turned to our religious community.
Stat of the Day: One in 40 Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jews carries a BRCA gene mutation, nearly 10 times the rate of the general population, making Jewish families significantly more susceptible to hereditary breast cancer and ovarian cancer.
Task of the Day: Find your spiritual resources. It is important to be able to make that phone call. There are all sorts of places and support communities.
Resource of the Day: If you are Jewish, check out Sharasheret, an organization dedicated to the support of younger Jewish women with breast cancer. Most churches and synagogues have programs and resources for members going through breast cancer.