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Dates and Details

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
September 2021
« Apr    

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    Archive for the ‘Helpful Insights’ Category

    Signs You Just Find

    In March as the cancer diagnosis hit, Bruce and I went to kiss our sleeping girls good night as part of our usual routine.

    Kristi, our 4 year old was fast asleep with a “set of wings” on to our surprise! An angelic sign to me.

    And last night, Kelli our 3 year old, must have found her “wings” after we tucked her in earlier just in pjs!…another sign that made us smile so I thought we’d share this sign with everyone else .

    Look for the signs, regardless of what you face, they are all around you!

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    Testing the Soccer Sidelines

    My 40ish year old Bruce is still on the same soccer team he joined when he was in his 20s…bless him…and many don’t know my dad, now 84, also has quite a few years of soccer in his history and not too bad as his friends still tell us.    So since trying to enter our girls into a ballet program flopped miserably and Kristi simply refused…..soccer, of course, was next on the list.

    In our town, we have wonderfully maintained soccer fields with the associated heaps of children and their onlooking family and friends.  So today, Bruce thought a nice outing for our girls would be to watch the local kids and to give mom some quiet house time.  But, about 15 minutes before they were to leave, I jumped out of bed, dressed up, through on the makeup, hair in pony tail, jazzy shoes …and went downstairs and just smiled as I asked,” Can Mommy come?”.  They were are all thrilled!

    This was also a test to see if Kristi would be ready and interested to start some team soccer playing. We watched from the sidelines and it helped that a school friend was playing…I think we’ll give it a try, Kristi get ready for cleat shopping!

    In the mix of the various fields, we spent time with the parents of Kristi’s 4 year old soccer playing friend.  As you can imagine, it’s a bit strange with me not knowing who knows what with me and reactions, well…… this was a perfect handling and acknowledgement.

    The mother, someone I had actually never met, half way through our conversation turned to me and said quietly, “So you doing OK”?  — I looked back and just said, “Great, what can you do? You just keep pushing through”.  She shared some family situations and for me, it was beautiful to have someone not need to see it as drama worthy, but reality in such a “yep” and move on.    Back to soccer talk, just like guys!

    My Tip Here: It’s tough to know how much support, give advice, ask questions, etc when you see people going through any “change in life situation”  ….at the start and throughout the on going process.  Many times, if you think of the person you knew “before”, you can see they may not be the type to talk about their problems in general, these times in life are no different.  Or simply ask when you don’t know. A quick questions like, “Do you want to talk about it or is there anything I can do to help” and if they say no…go back to life and conversation as you would have “before”. Business as usual, no drama required . :)

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    Gift Idea for those on Bed Rest

    Over the last 4 weeks spending most of my time in bed, I kept everything pretty tidy next to my bed.  A box for my meds, a basket for lotions, lip balm, binaca- you know all the bits to make you comfortable…both sat next to the cordless phone and the blackberry, both in their chargers.    Rest of the house, not so tidy, but for now, so be it….anyway, that brings me to the great gift idea for people that are stuck in bed — multiple universal remotes! 

    There has not been one day or night that I haven’t lost the remote — and then lay there watching anything that is one for hours sort of helpless.  So, there you have it…a wacky idea, but next time someone you know is going to end up on bed rest…go get some universal remotes and program 2 or even 3 of them to work…the more the merrier!

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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!

    A Day of Beauty

    Tomorrow I’m in the hospital.  So, I’ve succumbed to the fact that the house is as clean as it’s going to get, my remaining do list is just going to have to be put down for a bit….and today is a Day of Beauty.  Really!  The line up for today is completely focused on my hair, toes, nails, eyebrows, facial and heck, why not….topped off by a full body massage.

    As I get close to the starting line and am getting ready to start the sprint to the end of cancer, the vain side of Sue Ennis kicks in – why not look as best I can?!Again, a morsel of advice from me…and some advice that many heard me say is the approach to take at the first sign of labor when pregnant- heat the curling iron, put on your best body lotions, apply waterproof makeup in between contractions and feel great on this glorious day.

    Tomorrow too is a going to have it’s beauty in a different way.  Out with the old, in with the new starts my new beginning….join me if you’d like and make a change you want to tomorrow, any change big or small, you’ll share the strength and prayers coming in from me to you.  Please help me keep the circle of prayer and support solid to help all.

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