An interesting gift

My friend Kulia at http://papayamom.com sent me a lovely, thoughtful gift. She sent two books- one written by a lady who spent a year eating only produce grown locally or from her own garden- a great gift because I am getting more and more interested in developing this philosophy for myself and my family at the moment.

The second book was “Why I Wore Lipstick to my Mastectomy” by Geralyn Lucas. I started reading this last night once the kids are in bed and have nearly finished it already! What a great read for someone in my position.

Geralyn’s account of her journey through breast cancer is frank, engaging and energetic. She has made some decisions through it which would not be for me, but which nevertheless were fascinating to read about and which proved to me that there is no right or wrong way to deal with this. It’s been interesting too to read about what I am about to go through from someone else who has done it. It HAS made me feel less than enthusiastic about the chemo, which I am likely to be starting next week, but I think I have quite a different outlook to Geralyn. Whilst I am very scared about it, and am dreading the side effects more than you can know, I am keen to make a start on it. I reckon the sooner I get started, the sooner I will be finished! I am trying to view chemo as a friend, who is doing what’s best for me even though in the short term it will hurt.

Emotionally, I am OK. The last day or so has been a little rough. It’s only been two weeks since I found out, so I have to expect that I can’t be relentlessly cheerful all the time and that I have to not be so hard on myself. I am worried about Ian, he’s not letting me know when he feels anxious and upset, which is not a good thing. I think he feels like he must maintain a stiff upper lip at all times, but I don’t agree. I think it would be very damaging to our relationship for him to keep this up for much longer, and I’m scared he’ll start to resent me being sick and not being able to do as much as usual. He’s a wonderful partner, and a devoted father, but this is going to be very tough on both of us, the kids too. I wish there was a way to make it easier for him.

I’m still fairly upbeat about the surgery, but I really do want to see some pictures of what the reconstruction might look like. The lump under my arm seems to have grown since they did the first biopsy, which scares me so much that sometimes I can’t feel my arms and legs (weird, huh?!) and the whole world seems to tilt. They are doing a core biopsy on all three of the lumps tomorrow.

Well, sorry this isn’t more positive! I will have to take the rough with the smooth!

6 Responses to “An interesting gift”

  1. August 12, 2008 at 2:31 pm

    Speaking as a Guy, I’ve always taken health problems of my wife’s to mean that I have to suck it up and be strong for both of us, at least in the short term. I felt like if I showed weakness or fear then it would make things harder on her.

    I think, in retrospect, I wasn’t right about that, but I think that’s a common way for guys to think. I think the only thing that would have talked me out of it would have been for my wife to confront me head-on with it, say “I appreciate you trying to be strong for the family, but I’d also appreciate knowing that I’m not the only one who’s scared.”

  2. August 12, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    Mark is the same way about stressful situations. It seems to be a coping mechanism, but I agree that it can be problematic, especially in a long-term struggle. Do you think he’d at the very least talk to someone else about it (a friend, counselor, etc.) so that he’s at least getting his feelings out there?

    I’m thinking about you as you face the new biopsies and the start of treatment. And I’m believing that these are the first steps towards getting WELL!!

  3. August 12, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    oh Suzy…..I feel so sad to hear your fear described like that. đŸ˜¦ I am hoping for peace in your heart, know you can fight this.
    I’ll be praying for Ian as well.

  4. August 12, 2008 at 7:23 pm

    I will agree with TB. I handled things with my wife as “the strong one” and regret it now. We had some issues with losing a number pregnancies and I just separated myself from the process always expecting the worst and to be the rock for her.

    Find a way to lean on your significant other and let him know how he can help you…and you help him too. Us fellas aren’t always the best at knowing the best thing to do for the special ladies in our lives and telling you what we need.

  5. 5 Skry
    August 12, 2008 at 9:06 pm

    I agree with TB and MTAE. I tend to be the rock-like person when it comes to troubling issues. They do get to me, but I just find it hard to talk about them, not because I don’t want to but because it isn’t going to help the situation.

    It’s not that talking will ever help the situation resolve itself, but that’s not why women talk. They talk because getting something into the open releives some of the pressure and a problem shared is a problem halved, etc.

    As stated, being a bit emotionally detached and not complaining about anything seems to be a common male way of coping with many situations. We always feel that it’s easier to detach ourselves from a situation until it becomes more bareable/disappears rather than face up to it with our emotions.

    If you think Ian isn’t expressing himself you may be wrong – he’s probably got someone he’s talking to. I reckon you ought to buy him a 24pack of Harp and send him round to Neil’s for a night. I know that when things trouble me, having a few drinks and talking to Phil about them have always helped. If you want him to open up to you, see if your dad can’t take the kids for a night and stay in with Ian and some wine.

    Men’s emotions + alcohol = women’s emotions + talking +/- friendly insults

    Catalysts include: consoles, action/Kung Fu movies, dead arm competitions and pizza. May contain larger than trace amounts of nuts!

  6. 6 thecrazymommafiles
    August 13, 2008 at 1:50 am


    I’m keeping you and your family in my prayers. I’ve read a very interesting blog of a young lady who’s been through this same battle with breast cancer. She did have photos of her reconstruction step by step as she had it done. However, when I went to get the address, I noticed they’ve been moved. Here is the address to her blog http://lauramellis.livejournal.com/. She is very open and I’m sure she would be willing to share the photos with you – she was very open with sharing them.

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