Yes, I know cancer isn’t contagious and thank goodness for that but as I learn of more people getting it, it’s starting to feel that way. A friend of mine recently got diagnosed with breast cancer. I asked if there was a time we could meet up and then went around my place finding helpful items I could pass along to her. I put some tube bras I’d used to secure and hide my drains and some tops that flared and gathered at the bottom that hid my drains well into a bag to bring over.
I went over to her family’s house for dinner. She looked great but as this was Sunday and a 5:30AM hospital report time on Tuesday was looming, everyone felt understandably tense. We all started with prepping and eating a great meal, trying to seem normal. Not bringing up scary subjects in front of her young daughter.
After dinner, I had the chance to sit down with Kelly and her mother and just be there to answer any questions and offer to help in any way. I got to share how that first reveal after a double mastectomy is jarring but manageable. I got to explain what drains feel like, how to hide them, and how to sleep half sitting up. I showed them my reconstructed breasts and let them feel them so they could see that yes, they’re different, but they’re not so bad. We covered a gamut of topics, starting off with how surgery will likely lead to constipation and all the other “joys” she had coming her way.
It gave me the chance to feel helpful. I felt glad to be able to do so but also just terribly sad to have to. My hope for this blog is to figure out and go after my dreams. I know a large component of that is to help others. I’m not yet sure what that looks like and what it will manifest into but being able to be there for Kelly was a good step.
I’m typing this at 1pm on Tuesday, the Tuesday. Kelly is now in recovery and said to be doing well. Goodness, it brings back memories of my double but from a different perspective than I’ve had before. From an educational perspective with the hopes of being there for others. It feels – right.