From www.caringbride.org. (debbiebrodinsky) The journal entry from May 9th:
Moment #9, F*ck Cancer
Written May 9, 2012 10:21pm
That’s right. I saw that on a T-shirt on a website called “Zazzle”, and it will be the first thing I order as soon as we get the “all clear” sign from the doctor tomorrow.
The facts for tomorrow: We arrive at 9am at the Mary Catherine Bunting Building at Mercy Hospital and then report to Nuclear Medicine. There they will inject a dye that will eventually help determine which lymph node to remove and test to see if any cancer has spread. I’m here to tell you it has not. It will be the first bright spot on our journey to freedom from what should never have been.
Surgery is set to begin a few hours later. Dr Friedman will perform the double mastectomy and then come out to tell us how it all went. A short time later Dr Chang will perform the first phase of the reconstruction and then update us on the progress. And then, as long as everything goes right, which it will, Debbie will be in recovery and on the road to a real recovery.
There you go, its all covered in four sentences, one paragraph. Seems simple. So why when you read between the lines does it hurt so much. Is it because I know my wife has already been through enough? Is it because you never understand, as many times as its explained to you, or how many articles and books you read, why bad things happen to good people. Its more painful to watch those you love the most suffer, than to suffer yourself.
It’s not fair. I could never have imagined in my wildest dreams, that seeing my wife take a shower tonight, would be one of the saddest moments of my life. The same thing she does every day (and y’all should be so lucky to see it), was the last time I knew I would witness her like that ever again….and it broke my heart. Not because she will look any different in the end, not because she won’t still be so incredibly beautiful, but because SHE has to go through the pain and suffering to be free of all of this.
My Debbie is a giver. But what she has gotten back the past few years, between losing her dad suddenly to cancer and now this, it’s not what is supposed to happen when you are always giving of yourself.
But all this is out of our control, any of us. The gift Debbie gets back tomorrow is the love of so many family and friends who will pack that waiting room. Its because she is constantly doing for others, that they drop everything to be there for her. She deserves it. People love her. And those things ARE in our control. You can’t think back on what has happened and why, you can’t predict the future, but you can control how you live your life. My wife lives it to the fullest, because she cares. And that care has been returned in spades.
Thanks to so many who have already – and constantly – sent good wishes, prayers and so so much more. It has been overwhelming to witness, yet, at least from my perspective, because of the person she is, seems so fitting at the same time. Because she does the same for others, when they are also facing misfortune and fear. I have never seen her back away from a challenge or turn her back on a friend.
I have also learned, much more deeply than I ever realized, how women are truly affected by breast cancer. The mere mention of the words cements the bond that already exists between female friends and family and creates an instant connection to the stranger who might find out. They can immediately empathize and everyone has a story. We are not the first to go through this, won’t be the last. But the stories that are being written, page by page everyday, are the ones of survival. And that is so uplifting. Together everyone is making a difference.
Shock, surgery, survivor. The journey.
Last week as we were waiting for the elevator after our doctor appointments, Debbie told me she was “sorry” for putting me through this. That’s a good one. The one that makes you pause, take a breath, collect yourself and then come up with the answer that falls way short – “you must be kidding me right, that’s the silliest thing I ever heard”, I said, with a lump in my throat. Whether she ever reads this or not, let me just say, that response didn’t do her justice.
My real answer, if I could have come up with the right words, if I could get through it without breaking down, is to tell her this: “Deb, no matter what, I wouldn’t have missed this for the world. This is where I was always meant to be from the first day I met you. I need you way more than you could ever need me. You give my life its meaning, and you have enriched it more than I could have ever hoped for. You gave me my greatest gifts, our two beautiful daughters. You are my motivation, my inspiration, my hope, my world and my very best friend. You are a fighter. A hero. And I love you with all my heart.
And, I will see you on the other side of the surgery. My survivor.
I love you, Mark