The Actual Dance is a play that presents the events of the year 2000 from the point of view of the spouse of the woman going through breast cancer. From diagnosis to her life as a survivor, Susan Simon, my wife has endured. She is an unlikely survivor, at least according to her doctors. What is presented in The Actual Dance is the story of that experience from my perch. The husband. A man whose experience with breast cancer has been that it never turns out well. Moreover, death has been somewhat of a constant companion in my life. My memory of loss goes back to when I was 4 years old, with grandparents, aunts, uncles and siblings, as well as parents, being lost to various diseases, but mostly cancer. My reaction to Susan’s diagnosis in retrospect is not surprising. Of course, in my mind, it never was going to end well. But I’m getting a little ahead of the story.
Day 3: “Susan, this is Dr. Morgan’s office, we have the results of the biopsy. Can you come in tomorrow? Good. Sam should come with you.” The Actual Dance
You will notice this year that I focus on the question: “Who am I in this journey?” I am of course Sam – I should go with her because the doctor’s office said "Sam should come with you." Of course, I am her husband. I should be there, that is what husband’s do. At first both Susan and I thought that this was just another false alarm. After all “it is her fourth breast biopsy”
As this story unfolds – and as this October marches on – the one question I keep asking is “Who am I” in this journey?" Or "who are 'we' -- the 'other person in the room'.
We might be caregivers. We might be lovers. We might be parents, children or just friends. And still what are we when we look at a person that we love and begin to imagine the possibility of holding them in our arms as they take their last breath. What is the word that describes that person?
Stat of the Day: At least 17.7 million individuals in the United States are providing care and support to an older parent, spouse, friend, or neighbor who needs help because of a limitation in their physical, mental, or cognitive functioning. Source: Here
Task of the Day: Breathe. I learned that the best source of peace for me was in my breathe. I learned this from an amazing acting teacher and mentor Carol Fox Prescott. Check out her resources, which are aimed at acting students and are prefect for real life!
Resource of the Day: At this early point in the month in the journey – just about to be diagnosed – I think a great place to start is with a great group, Men Against Breast Cancer. In most instances, in fact, that is who we are when our wife is diagnosed. We are a man in the journey. This group and it’s president Marc Heyison provide a great service to men in the breast cancer of their wives.
The Actual Dance: Performances. Donate.