Monday, July 2, 2012

Sister Act

"We are family, I got all my sisters with me
We are family, get up everybody and sing."

Let me tell you something, folks, you don't know sisterhood until you've had cancer, especially, it seems, breast cancer.

The first person to (sadly) welcome me to the sisterhood was Marlen, the financial secretary at our church. I had gone to work with a brave face that first Monday after I was diagnosed, but that crumbled when Marlen came down to the preschool to see me. And one of the first Facebook messages I got was from Michelle, another friend from church and another breast cancer survivor. (Interestingly enough, this isn't the first time Michelle has been my cheerleader. She was my recovery room nurse when I had my daughter and had a crapload of complications.) As understanding and supportive as my family was trying to be, believe me, no one "gets it" like another breast cancer survivor.

Not long after my diagnosis, my friend Cindi was also diagnosed with breast cancer. Mostly acquaintances up to that point, she and I were Facebook friends, had several things in common, but didn't know each other all that well. That all changed with her diagnosis. We became bosom buddies *cough*. Sorry....

Cindi and I have spent a lot of time talking since we were diagnosed. I told her what to expect when she was scheduling her surgery, showed her what her new boobies would look like. She calmed me down when I was freaking out about forcing my ovaries to stop producing. Her treatments are much suckier than mine, but I can encourage her and listen when she needs to talk. We are SISTERS.

But SueAnn is teachable
These sisters surface sometimes when you least expect it. Remember SueAnn the Blackmailer, the nurse who gave me my last injection of Zoladex? Another member of the sisterhood. We both had the same tram flap surgery and compared incision scars and new bellybuttons. And not only do we both have NEW bellybuttons, we have the SAME bellybuttons. Remember that mixer that teachers sometimes made you play, where everyone draws a card with either a first name or a last name of a famous person on it and you had to go around the room, checking cards, until you found the match to yours? I'm thinking Dr. Geter might be playing that game with his patients. Just a thought....

And is it odd that I am kind of looking forward to my next Zoladex injection, just so I can visit with SueAnn again? She was absolutely darling (once she got my name right). She's been through the wringer - radiation and chemo - and is cheerful and positive (further proof that a happy heart is good medicine).  And what an inspiration she must be to the patients whom she cares for at the infusion center! Know what? I think I want to be her when I grow up. Gotta move forward, anyway. No backsies....

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