In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month I post a blog each day with a reflection about breast cancer. The reflections all stem from something in the play. (All quotes are from lines in the play).
Day 14: Presence 2 “I can’t explain or maybe better said I cannot justify why, but I cannot leave Susan alone. My job is to be here with her in this room. My cot sits near the floor on the right side as you face the bed. In the opposite corner on the same side of the room I set up the table and a chair as a desk for my computer so I could work and be (in the room) at the same time.” The Actual Dance
I spoke in my blog yesterday about the importance of family and friends being “present” as we faced Susan’s surgery. The other half of the idea of being present for those who are sick is the compulsion and importance to me – the husband – to be present and with Susan throughout the her journey. It was like a compulsion. It wasn’t the result of any advice or research or anything other than my own internal instinct --- Susan could not possibly be alone at any step in this process. I didn’t tell her. I did not ask her. I just knew my place. This will not be the only time, but in some ways it was the first. I end up doing things for her that I could not possibly imagine doing, but that is a topic for another blog.
It can be complicated. It is possible that unlike Susan who accepted my presence there are patients who do not really want their spouse or family member present. What I would say is this. I did not ask. Rather I assumed the position, so to speak, and it was just the way it was going to be.
Stat of the Day: The American Society of Clinical Oncology predicts that by 2020, there will be an 81 percent increase in people living with or surviving cancer.
Task of the Day: Get familiar with your rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act. I was the owner of my company and could set my own rules about time off for me. Employees don't have that flexibility. Here is one resource.
Resource of the Day: Want to talk to someone who has gone through the same thing you or a love one is going through? Check out the Cancer Hope Network. They match cancer patients and family members with someone else who has gone through the same illness
The Actual Dance: Performances. Donate.