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 4: Being a Buddy “I cannot imagine Susan going through ‘this’ alone…. I am with Susan for each one of her chemo-therapy sessions, each one of her radiation treatments and each one of her follow up doctor appointments, for that is my role in this new world.” The Actual Dance
My job as Susan’s husband was to be with her at each appointment from beginning through all the most difficult parts of treatment and to what I thought was going to be the “end.” The show is ultimately about my preparation.
Having a second set of ears for patients is critical. The patient often cannot process the information from – “you have cancer” to “everything is fine.” Patients often just don’t hear it. The buddy role was also critical for me, her husband. It let me do something in a world in which there wasn’t really anything I could really do. It is hard for me to explain exactly what I discovered. I found a connection between me and Susan that existed at a different level. A spiritual level. I don’t know if she felt it but I did and it called me to be there because it sustained me.
Being a Buddy has many functions and sometimes can be provided by a professional. What I found is being a buddy was also about “being.” A spiritual, loving act that also had practical and important mundane roles. It becomes intimate and deep.
Be a buddy---have a buddy.
Stat of the Day: The American Cancer Society projects that 2,600 men will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in 2016 with breast cancer and about 440 of those men 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 get sick. It might be your spouse. It might need to be more than one person if there are lots of appointments.
Resource of the Day: Here are four different resources for Buddy support during the cancer journey.
American Cancer Society Reach to Recovery Program® links Breast Cancer patients or caregivers with resources in their communities.
Cancer.net Support Buddy program has a list of various buddy program sand has a list of phone number and web links.
CanCare will connect you with someone who has been in your shoes with your cancer or as a caregiver to someone with a similar cancer.
Cancer Companions is a Christian based organization that connects people with cancer or caregivers within the religious community.