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 16: ONCOLOGY NURSES: “It’s 7 in the morning and Dr. Happy is making his rounds. Susan has slowly and steadily recovered her strength and stability in this shorty period of time. We are enjoying walking around the 7th floor, the cancer floor, with IV stand in tow…” The Actual Dance
The post-surgery experience for Susan and me after the extensive double mastectomy was made tolerable by the gracious and loving care provided by each and every nurse on the 7th floor – the cancer floor – of INOVA Fairfax Hospital in 2000. The doctor comes to visit patients in the hospital once or twice a day or if there is an emergency. You see a nurse once an HOUR or more often. And these nurses tended not just to Susan but to me – because I camped out in the room with Susan. Nurses took care of me as well as Susan. They encouraged me, checked in on me and reassured me. They trained me how to empty “the two plastic bulbs handing off of each side of Susan’s chest filled with a red liquid.” It was not easy – Susan struggled during her recovery because “she did not react well to the anesthesia.” The nurses honored us with a caring attitude and orientation, not just competent care.
Stat of the Day: About 85% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer. These occur due to genetic mutations that happen as a result of the aging process and life in general, rather than inherited mutations.
Task of the Day: If you or someone you know is facing breast cancer search out to a “breast care navigator.” They exist in many places in many forms. Most hospitals now employ one and many independent cancer support groups offer the same type of help
Resource of the Day: Planned Parenthood Planned Parenthood doctors and nurses teach patients about breast care, connect patients to resources to help them get vital biopsies, ultrasounds, and mammograms, and follow up to make sure patients are cared for with the attention they need and deserve.
The Actual Dance: Performances. Donate.