Oct 25, 2020 Latest post:
Nov 23, 2020
Welcome to our Caring Bridge for our Breast Cancer Story. And by "OUR" I mean ALL OF US... that's YOU, TOO!
DISCLAIMER/PSA::: At the bottom of the Caring Bridge site, it indicates that a site LIKE THIS ONE costs $30 a month to run. TO BE CLEAR, these sites are FREE to the users. I do NOT pay anything for this site. Though I am grateful for Caring Bridge, I want to be clear that I DO NOT pay for this site and DO NOT expect you to make any sort of "tribute" donation. Once all this is over, I do plan to give back to Caring Bridge, but DO NOT want you to feel like you are supporting me in making a tribute/donation..
I have had a front row seat to loving people dealing with some scary cancers many times in my life. Loving a family that's dealing with cancer is tough stuff. I know what it's like to be in your "normal" day amidst a world that doesn't know the person you care about and be seized with fear for an outcome and world that doesn't have them in it. I know that you could be a distant acquaintance of mine and have a tough day with this and berate yourself for 'not having the right' to be upset. I vividly remember all of my experiences as a cancer spectator and hope that between this journal and the BOOPERSBOOBIES.COM site that you will have the support you need to cope. This is me loving you, and I DO LOVE YOU!
My biggest problem in all this, at present (pre-treatment), is that I won't be able to be there for you. We all have jobs in fighting this cancer, now. My job is to focus on me and fight with all that I have until we beat this.. and we will- seriously, we will. In order to "forget about you" and focus on me, I need to know that you have something to help support you... I hope that with each click you see my smile, hear my obnoxiously loud laugh, and feel my hugs. Another thing I need to be able to focus on me is to know that you all will be checking up on EACH OTHER. Please ask how you are each doing and if you're a hugger, give a hug from me, please. If you're not a hugger, I totally support that, you can elbow bump or whatever best suites each of you! No matter who you are in my life, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't discredit your feelings about this. You love me, I love you, too. Things like this hurt and are scary. It's your experience just as much as it is mine!
Why Caring Bridge? My brother, Fred, is a colon cancer survivor. When he was battling cancer, over 15 years ago, he created a Caring Bridge and shared SO much through it. I wasn't able to be there, to see him, to support him directly... Caring Bridge was my access to him. He shared his thoughts and feelings and medical progress and family updates... It was comforting for me. What I didn't really think about until now, is that it was also a huge source of support for ME. I shared his site with my local friends who didn't know him. Many stayed up on his Caring Bridge updates. Then, instead of my having to recount how he was over and over (let's be honest, some days were dark and scary and I didn't want to hear myself say those things), my friends were just reaching out to me asking ME how I was doing and/or they would see me and say they were keeping up with my brother and were super happy to hear about some progress OR sending additional thoughts/prayers because they read things were rough. Yes, that was a heck of a run-on sentence amidst many other run on sentences... you will have to get used to that, I fear.
So, those of you that have EVER been introduced to me know or have experienced that I am an OVER-SHARER. I know each of you process differently and will find comfort in different things. Also, some of you need smelling salts to stay in a conversation about paper cuts and I don't want you blindsided by some gross details that might leave you in a tailspin. :) My attempt to "be there for you" will be this site. I am going to try to have my entries be "sectioned". As my girlfriend said, "Know yourself and scroll to your section!". I died laughing. Anyhow, I'm going to try to have it roughly as follows:
MEDICAL: all the terms, diagnoses, test results, etc. I know many of you find comfort in research and details. I have been told by my breast surgeon to have people stick to Susan G Komen website or cancer.gov for research. I know... you're not gonna do that, but I tried. ;)
SYMPTOMS: what my body is experiencing. Many of you will want to know how I am feeling, physically and wondering for you is way worse than knowing. This will be detailed, but will hopefully be a chronical of the physical experience.
MY KIDS and FAMILY: how my people are doing. We are so VERY blessed to have so many that love us. In this journey, some will need to know how the people I love are coping, feeling, and living. I appreciate that so much. Given that they are all adults ( or will soon be: Britton 18th bday 11/22), this part is a little touchy. I will share here, but also need to leave room for them to tell their own story, shall they choose to share. I'm an over-sharer, but not all my people are. ;)
ME: for a look into my headspace (brace yourself), heart, and spirit. As I type this I am struck with immense gratitude that we have you... what a blessed life we live to have someone caring about us. Truly, does it get any better than to have a person truly care about you and your well-being? Not in my book. Pretty darn blessed.
WHAT'S NEXT?: for a look at what's coming up and if the game plan has changed.
I need to go now and this is pretty long already. Bless your hearts for the crazy ass lengthy posts that are about to happen. I shake my head at myself and smile thinking about it. Bless this mess. I will share how our breast cancer story began as the first entry here and leave up on boopersboobies.com site. I'll do the same for explaining the hashtags as well.