Day 23: Talking to Someone. “I need to talk to someone. Even though it is nearly 9 at night, I wonder if the Rabbi is still at the Temple. I decide to just drop-by, hoping that she is there.”
If you have been following these blogs, I talked yesterday about “Going Dark.” The unexpected discovery of a lump on Susan’s chest during her first post-surgery exam by the oncologist shocked him and me. He stopped in the middle of the exam and went to the phone to schedule more surgery to remove the lump. Me, “I went dark.”
Up until that point I had found my coping mechanism and the ups and downs of the prognosis were becoming manageable by me. This changed everything. My overwhelming need was to find someone to talk to about doing that one thing that I thought I could never do: Hold Susan as she stopped breathing.
My first instinct was to talk to the Rabbi of our Temple. I didn’t make an appointment, I just “showed up” at the end of her very long day, around 9:30 that night. In many way this was a perfect storm for both of us: I didn’t know how to ask for help, and she was rushing to get home and be respectful at the same time.
I was unable to properly express to the Rabbi that I was scared. I was desperate to find someone who could help me discover “how am I going to be able to dance the last dance, The Actual Dance, with Susan.” I think the Rabbi was trying to empathize. Yes, it was going to be sad to lose Susan and for her to miss the grandchildren growing up. I realized I needed to talk with someone else.
Stat of the Day: Susan and went on our first date in 1964 --- 53 years ago. And we first “noticed” each other though we never really met in 1961 56 years ago!
Task of the Day: Cleveland Clinic hosts a program for people to serve as mentors to cancer patients or caregivers; and for patients or caregivers to find a mentor. Consider signing up for or to be a cancer mentor. It is a way to have someone to talk to or to be there for someone who needs to talk.
Resource of the Day: The American Psychosocial Oncology Society has an information and referral help line: Toll Free 1-866-276-7443 (1-866-APOS-4-HELP).
The Actual Dance: Performances. Donate.