In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month I post a blog each day with a reflection about breast cancer. The reflections all stem from something in the play. (All quotes are from lines in the play).
Day 19: Where Else Can I Be? “I cannot explain why, or maybe better said I cannot justify why but I cannot leave Susan alone. My job is to be here with her, in this room. My cot sits near the floor on the right side as I face the bed. … I hold out the small semi-circular pan for her to throw up. …”
I decided without much thinking that I needed to be with Susan every step of the way in the breast cancer journey. I was with her at each doctor appointment. I was with her in the pre-op bay of the hospital. I spent “three long days and nights” in her room in the hospital after her double mastectomy. These were among the most difficult moments for me, sometimes because I needed to do things I could not imagine doing. Other times because I needed to be strong as the news became darker. In the time since this experience I have come to value those moments, perhaps the most, because I think they were the most important and ultimately most intimate moments with Susan. In the show after a particularly difficult time in the hospital I say, “I don’t know where else I could possibly be.” I have since come to understand that those unimaginable moments doing things I couldn’t imagine doing (“Hell I rarely changed the kids’ diapers.”) created a much deeper connection between Susan and me.
Stat of the Day: Approximately 43.5 million caregivers have provided unpaid care to an adult or child in the last 12 months. [National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP. (2015). Caregiving in the U.S.]
Task of the Day: Find someone who is a caregiver and offer to give them a break for an evening or an afternoon.
Resource of the Day: The Family Caregiving Alliance National Center on Caregiving can point you to a vast network of support for Family Caregiving.
The Actual Dance: Performances. Donate.