Thursday, April 07, 2016

Too big, too much

On Wednesday, my friend Barb had her double mastectomy.

I sent her a gift, a nightshirt to wear during her convalescence that she received earlier this week. This morning I sent her a text. Now I think I'll leave her alone for a while.

But I admit I'm in uncharted waters. The mastectomy is major surgery, which will be followed by reconstructive surgery. She will be in pain, and stitches and staples and drains. Her arms and shoulders will be stiff and she'll have an exercise routine. That's just the physical part.

She's a married woman concerned about her husband's response to her changed body. We talked about this years ago, during the run up to my hysterectomy. I was surprised that some people viewed my surgery as sexual, because I didn't. Losing those internal organs didn't make me feel any less feminine, any less me. Barb agreed, and we both said it would be far, far worse to lose a breast.

And now she's losing two.

Oh yeah, and she's dealing with mortality. Cancer kills. I have no reason to believe that Barb's was caught in time and that she'll have healthy years ahead of her. But I'm not the one who spent hours on the table. Death had to have crossed Barb's mind.

I've been thinking about her all day. I started my day using the bath gel she gave me, just to feel closer to her.


  1. Sending lots of healing thoughts to her!

  2. Sending love to you and through you to her. You're a good friend to care so much. (And I'd be so so sad about losing my boobies. It's often what makes us feel womanly. (Well, for me, anyway)

    Love, Love and Love to you both.

  3. Sending prayers for you and your friend. This is such a frightening time for you both. She's lucky to have a friend who worries with her and supports her.

  4. prayers for your friend and her family. send her lost of cards...funny ones to lighten her spirit.fill the cards of times you spent together and laughter! maybe send her a couple meals, basket of fruit, snacks.

  5. I'm so sorry to hear that your friend has this nasty cancer to deal with.
    Being ready to talk has much as she wants to, lending an ear during her frightening ordeal, hand holding, literally, and your availability are all things to help and keep her focused on surviving this thing. Studies show that focusing away from pain actually helps a body to heal faster.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you,your friend, and her family in the coming months.
    Cancer is Evil, as Shannon has said.

  6. I have an online friend who went through this in 2013, and then chose not to follow her doctor's advice on follow-up chemo. I worry about her a lot. We email a few times a month and as far as I know I am her only outlet. I think sometimes the only thing one can do is listen and be there as best you can. You're a good friend. You care. If only the world was full of One Gal's, we would be much better off.


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