In October in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness I will post a daily blog with a reflection about breast cancer. The reflections will stem from something in the play. (All quoted lines are text from the play.)
Day 17: The Ballroom My journey with Susan in the year 2000 occurred in two places. One physical and real – here and now -- the other someplace else: “An empty grand ballroom” with “high ceilings and a long, beautiful highly polished blond wood dance floor. Brilliant spotlights. A platform off to the side large enough for a good sized platform large enough for 40 or 50 or more musicians.” I don’t know what the ballroom really is except to say that it was real to me at that time and through that process. A metaphysical place that existed in a different dimension in the universe, yet accessible and available as I needed it to be for my soul. Yet, I could be “Afraid and confused by the sounds and smells and images. The sense of being somewhere else and here at the same time.” I believe that during the hardest times of breast cancer, or any cancer or illness, when the news is the darkest and when the fear is the starkest we humans need to find that “place within us and around us where angels sing on rays of light and love pours forth from the heart of the universe.” (Heart of the Universe, Snatam Kaur and Peter Kater) It is where we go to get ready. It is somehow more peaceful and nearer to that which is divine in our world. Yet, it can be scary, especially if we do not understand it. As the news about Susan continued to become more negative – Stage 3, Estrogen receptor negative, Her2neu positive, in 10 of 17 lymph nodes tested and then a new lump on her chest post surgery. I found myself in the Ballroom more and more frequently. And I could often hear and see the orchestra. “It was real, and it was everywhere.”
Stat of the Day: In 2008, 51.4% of poor women ages 40 and older had a screening mammogram in the past 2 years compared to 72.8% of women who were not poor.
Task of the Day: Sign up for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer either in your area or in any of the cities it is offered. Susan has walked for 13 years and I have walked for four. It is not because it raises money to help poor people become aware and get mammograms (see the statistic above). It also gets you fit and that keeps you healthy and increases your survival rates.
Resource of the Day: Exercise is important for breast cancer patients and survivors. Check out this guide for exercising if you have or have had breast cancer.