Sunday, June 21, 2015

Sunday Morning Coming Down

Well the last several days have been difficult to imagine. 

Since Friday when Esquire Magazine posted an on-line article about my struggle with breast cancer my Facebook activity has been overwhelming. 

For the past seven (7) years, I have looked without much success for support groups and organizations through which I could make sense of my experience with this disease.  I wished only to find a support group in which I could relate my experiences to others who understand the issues associated with breast cancer and in particular with respect to male breast cancer.

With the advent of the Esquire publication I have now been contacted by numerous individuals and organizations:

Nicki Boscia Durlester, author of the book "Beyond the Pink Moon" and moderator of the informative site

Lisa Marie Guzzardi, co-moderator of the informative site "Protecting BEFORE Breast Cancer"

Alan Blassberg, Producer

I am overwhelmed with the support I am getting and am so encouraged to move forward with my plans to become an integral link in the support structure for men dealing with breast cancer and other forms of cancers common to men.  I will be working with Nicki, Lisa and Alan this coming week to develop my strategies and to help each of them in any way I can.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Slight departure.

I have been overwhelmed with work and issues lately and have been remiss in getting here to write but today I had an experience that I just HAD to come and talk about.

Sitting in my surgeon's office today, waiting to have sutures removed after the excision of yet another basal cell, I met a young woman who had had a double mastectomy several days ago and was waiting to have the drains removed.  This young woman looked so very tired and care-worn.  Such a pretty young lady who, from her mother who waited with her, I learned is 36 and has three and a half year old twins at home. 

I overheard her telling her mom that with the drains in place it is just so difficult to sleep.  I remember all too well how very annoying those drain tubes and the pump mechanism can be and how difficult it is just to dress one's self or function normally through the day let alone try to sleep.  I remember the difficulty of pumping fluids from the surgical site and disposing of them and hating that damn drain every moment of every day.  I also remember when my surgeon visited me in the hospital days after my mastectomy and I convinced him I had had quite enough of the drain and pleaded with him to remove it.  I so much appreciated his candor as he said "this is going to hurt" as he deftly and quickly placed a hand next to the drain and pulled in one smooth motion.  Boy, he was right!  It did hurt, but only momentarily and it was gone but never forgotten.

My heart goes out to this young lady, and to her mother............. 

How difficult it must be to face moving into the best years of adulthood, being so very young, having been diagnosed with breast cancer and having a double mastectomy at 36 years of age.  I cannot imagine how devastating it must be for a woman of any age to be diagnosed and face breast cancer and ultimately lose the visible aspects which have defined her gender.  The pain in this young woman's eyes was palpable as was the worry in her mother's eyes and her steady gaze, watching over her daughter with the intensity of a hawk. 

I am humbled by this young woman and can only wish that she survives her experience emotionally intact.  And to her mother and family I say.... take good care of this young woman.