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 4: WHO IS YOUR BUDDY? Getting the “It’s Cancer” news is never easy. Giving it isn’t easy either, though that is a topic for another day. It is really, really hard to Aware at that specific moment a doctor says: “It’s is breast cancer.” If you have been there you know. Everything stops. Time stops. Reality stops. Breathing stops. One of the standard bits of advice is that the patient should never be alone when they hear such news. It is hard to be Aware enough at those moments to always hear what is really said. As it turned out, while I was there to hear the news with Susan, it was me who struggled. “Susan never indicated she was worried, or if she was she didn’t’ tell me. She was always matter of fact. …” is the line in the show about those moments. The next moment – the moment when we get called into the doctors’ office to get the bad news -- it is me who sense the import of the words. Later in fact it is me who asks the doctor all the important questions, like “what about the other, the left breast.” The role of the Buddy is to try and listen a bit more objectively, though I have to admit, and the play make clear, I was often more emotional than Susan.
Stat of the Day: The American Cancer Society projects that 2,350 men will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in 2015 with breast cancer and 440 will die.
Task of the Day: Check on your Medical Directive and make sure it is up to date and current. While you are at it, perhaps make a note of who you want as your “Buddy,” if you need to be Aware while getting bad news or medical information. It might not be your spouse. It might be a friend or even a child. Our daughter is a pediatric Dentist and might be a good Buddy the next time! Also check specifically about the duration of your Medical Directive. Often the designation is only for a limited period of time (5 or 10 years). Keep it up to date!
Resource of the Day: When you are sick it is really important to take medicine as directed and for the time directed. It can be confusing too if you have a lot of meds and if you are in the midst of chemo. Here is a neat resource with tools on how to keep in on top of it all called Script Your Future.