Hey, I was asleep & Me
Posted August 12, 2010on:
A friend called me today because she noted that it was a year ago today that I had my mastectomies.
“No,” I told Sue K, “It’s tomorrow.”
She thought that was odd because her 2009 calendar showed my surgery date as August 12.
She was right. August 13, 2009, was a Thursday and my surgeon operates on Mondays and Wednesdays.
But what would I know? I was under anesthesia.
So I apparently needed to get a bunch of balloons, champagne, etc. and start celebrating today.
What have I learned in this last year?
- Friends & family are very important. Make connections any way you can.
- Find a way to laugh even during tough times.
- Make eye contact with folks who might guess there is no hair under your hat. And then smile. It will put both of you at ease.
- Keep your mind and body going.
- Be prepared to tell your story because people always want to know what happened.
- Listen to the intent of what people say to you, not the exact words. Most people intend to be comforting but they may not know the best way to say it.
- Don’t blame other folks for the struggles you have. Life happens. It’s no one’s fault.
- Don’t call your blog, Pinky Pie, unless you have the resources to build an extra room on the house for all the pink stuff that nice people send you.
- Think about helping others. It’s a way to get out of yourself.
- Don’t listen to tales from folks about what went wrong in other people’s care. They aren’t you and treatment is always getting better.
- Do listen to stories of those who have survived a long time.
- You can’t make much money from a head rubbing concession when your hair starts to grow back.
- Exercise if you can. It helps your mind and body.
- Wash your hands. A lot.
- Cancer has its funny moments.
- Celebrate the good stuff.
- Be nice to everyone, just like your mother said.
- We are all one diagnosis away from financial disaster. It can happen to everyone.
- What passes as debate and discussion is designed to appeal to our worst selves, not our best.
- Getting through chemotherapy is not nearly as much fun as it’s cracked up to be, and it’s not cracked up to be very much. And yet, it’s not something that millions of people haven’t gone through or will go through.
- This is the only time in my life that I wish I were 65 and eligible for Medicare.
As I was writing this, Maggie called and I told her what I was writing.
She suggested I also learned this year how cool my daughter is. It’s true, but I think I had some knowledge of her coolness along time ago. And it’s not just because many years ago she wrote, “This girl is the coolest!” in my address book. She was right of course, and her brother is pretty cool as well.
And as Garrison Keillor would note, we’re all above average, too.