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Dates and Details

2010:
February 25-Mammogram
March 15-MRI
March 19-Core Biopsy
March 23-Cancer Diagnosis
April 14-Double Mastectomy
May 24-Oncologist Meeting
June 7 - Starting Tamoxifen Therapy
August 25 - Reconstruction Surgery
August 27 -Yale Second Opinion
August 31 - "Reconstruction" Complete

It has been confirmed:
No Chemo or Radiation is required

Feb.1 The Story Starts
May 2010
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    Encouragement Advice

    Over the last month, we’ve received such varied ways of encourgement from around the world, but quite often with the honest words of …”Sue, I just don’t know what to say”.  At that point, it’s been easy for me to just answer that there are no words needed.  It’s the pre-existing bonds of friendship that are felt in that moment of silence on the phone or the “deer caught in headlights look” for those that received my news in person.

    With the exception of a few – we are so not trained to get slapped with shocking news and immediately know what to say.  So never feel that a loss for words is an issue should such a situation like this arise again in your future. But I read a few things last night that I thought I’d paraphrase as helpful guidelines…

    • If you can, hold back from first saying, “Everything will be OK” -(but rather save it tor the end of the chat).  It’s a natural statement to blurt out, but it makes the person shut down from feeling their fears and worries don’t want to be heard.
    • It’s OK to say that you can’t find the words at that moment but that you are there to be supportive in anyway. Realize the overwhelming whirlwind that person is newly diagnosed and trying to get their words and thought together.  This is never a scripted moment, nor should you ever feel your loss of words an issue
    • Offer help in both general and specific ways.  People coping with illness and recovering do get swamped, Indeed, all the help is needed but just so hard to know where the help is really needed.  A suggestion is to cater on the caregiver — offer a few things you can do for them —- errands, laundry, spring weeding, planting flowers, covering a meal, host a play date for your kids or just come over and watch a movie.   
    • Check in months later when typically the encouragement and support is still needed, if not more needed.  Road to recovery tends to be a long one and each week sometimes less pain and more tough on the soul and mind.

    So to all those out there that have made this journey will us so far, you know I cannot thank you any more for everything it[’s meant to all of us!

    3 Responses to “Encouragement Advice”

    • Lee says:

      I hopefully can do better than just “check-in” months later as I plan to be over with Beki around Thanksgiving. Save some turkey for me……

    • Andrea says:

      Brilliant post. Thank you for this insight. Extremely helpful.
      Hey – would love to set up a play date! We could pick up the girls and the could play on the beach / playground… Or, I could bring my little ones to you… You name it. Most Saturdays are free… and a lot of Sundays too…

    • carole griffin says:

      We would love to be able to do something practical to help you! Sadly, as that isn’t possible, I am happy to keep checking in, letting you know that we are all behind you and thinking of you, and sending you lots of love. C xxx

    Leave a Reply

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