- My online BC sisters, who have given me great advice and prepared me well for what is to happen.
- My oldest and dearest online friends, who have surprised me with shoes and honored me with thoughts and prayers. Some of you I've met, most of you I haven't, but all of you have made an impact on my life and I appreciate you. Hey mom? Hey, what!
- My closest IRL friend, who made me a gorgeous silky bathrobe to wear after surgery so I can feel elegant, even post-mastectomy. Photo to come because everybody should see her talent. Twenty years girl, and you still got it!
- All of those who donated money and walked in my honor this month. I was surprised at it and calmed by imagining my name on those placards.
- My coworkers, who have been so kind. This includes my boss who let me take time off for appointments when I needed it, and put up with my sometimes grouchiness during moments of stress. Not everybody would have done that. The two front office ladies, who covered for me while I was gone and always kept my spirits up and never complained about my tardiness as I got more tired and moved slower. Our Records Clerk, who is a gourmet cook and who made me lunch (and I hear meals are coming) and who, along with our special ed teacher, kept my desk full of flowers. The entire administrative staff who purchased an Amazon card for me so I can shop without leaving the house.
- The teacher who had been through it before and gave me her own lovely breast cancer bracelet that helped her get through her treatments, and the retired custodian who dropped by to give me a Starbucks gift card, and the principal from another school who sent me well wishes.
- The other teachers who brought me cards, teddy bears, thoughts and prayers . Sunshine provided the most gorgeous pink roses - that are still living. Particularly touching was the week when the entire staff wore pink ribbons in my honor, made by our student body advisor, a male, who even suffered a hot glue gun accident while making them! They presented me with my own ribbon and a card with the student body leaders in attendance. I can't explain how honored I was by that. I work in a school because I love kids and believe in education - and yet by a twist of fate and office design I never see kids and do pure paperwork. It was the first time I'd felt like I wasn't working for a CPA.
- I particularly want to thank our custodian, who came to me every day to see how I was, and always acted with the greatest kindness - even after having been through his wife's cancer death. It couldn't be easy for him but he never failed to check in, and really listened when I answered.
- My family, of course, who has been supportive beyond belief. My oldest son, who will do daily pick up and babysitting for his little brother, despite his difficult work hours and living away from home. And, without a doubt, my darling husband who has taken over most of the household chores and has personified the "in sickness and in health" oath. I haven't posted much about how much discomfort I've felt and how tired I've been because it's not really important - but it has been difficult to do as much as I used to do, and he really stepped up to the plate. And, I know he will continue to do it without complaint.
I'm not nervous about this surgery. I'm a little nervous about the continued treatment - chemo, radiation, reconstruction, herceptin - mostly because it's a year long process. Actually, to be honest, it's a never-ending process. But, I'm not nervous about the actual operation set for tomorrow. I'm not writing this serious post because I think it will be my last, so don't get that idea. I just couldn't go into surgery leaving people unthanked.
Could it be my pre-registration conversation about my advanced directive seeping into my brain?
If there is one thing I will take away from this experience, it is how wonderful and kind people can be in the face of darkness. I'm a cynic. But, I learned after 9/11 how people can step up to help their fellow man. I just never knew that fellow man could be me.
And, I'm grateful.
Catch you on the flip side.