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Posts Tagged ‘breast cancer surgery’

You can read this post at my new and improved blog at http://www.letlifehappen.com/2009/07/25/so-you-think-you-can-dance-and-the-breast-cancer-connection.

Best,
Barbara

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I had an entirely different subject picked out for my musings today but having just completed a number of interactions with some of MySpace “friends”, I have decided to go in a different direction.  I have made a connection with so many wonderful, strong, caring and sharing new people there that I just have to share. 

The last place that I ever expected to meet such a group of people was through a social networking site.  Most of them are survivors or caregivers to survivors.  Their stories are absolutely amazing and the depths to which they have had to go in order to survive is nothing short of miraculous.  And for all that they have endured; the one theme that I see constantly repeated is that they care about other people to a degree not normally seen and that they are willing to share themselves and their experiences with others so that others don’t feel so alone.

For those who are here in support of me as a cancer survivor, I have received tons of wonderful prayers and blessings and offers of help if there is anything that I need.  I have received the stories of so many who are going through radiation and chemotherapy for anywhere from the first to the fourth time.  And yet, there they are, reaching out to me with their prayers and apologizing for not being able to write sooner because they have been too sick or preparing for surgery or recovering.  I have received so many notes of thanks from those who are out there fighting their own battles for the fact that I am willing to share my own story, something to which they can relate and appreciate and understand.  They are letting me know how much they feel supported in their own struggles when others take the time to listen and share and pray for them as well.  And to all of those caregivers, I must keep telling you that you have the harder part and that you will never know how much you are appreciated.

There are those who have come to me in support of my being a survivor of domestic abuse.  They have shared the awful atrocities that they have endured, the ends to which they have been driven in their own retaliations and lives that have been full of nothing but pain for as long as they can remember.  And they have come here to share their stories so that others can know that there is no shame in these lives, that there are many others who know the same experiences and to thank others who are willing to speak out and tell the world that this is not right and is not acceptable and they are not to blame.

So, to every single one of you who has taken the time to write to me, who has posted words of kindness and understanding, who has shared your own story to help others and who has let me know that by my sharing my experiences that I have helped you, I thank you.  Each one of you is a very special person because you are reaching out to others with your love and caring.  You are strong and courageous in your own survival.  You couldn’t be a better “friend” if you knew me intimately in person for what you have given to me.  And as I am sure that each of you knows about me by now that if there is ever anything that I can do to help you, I will do so.  You are all in my thoughts and prayers every day.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

 

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As I sat here tonight contemplating the first round of my reconstruction surgery on Tuesday, I couldn’t help but realize how fortunate I am to be in this situation.  I have survived two rounds of breast cancer and cannot believe that I have had such wonderful medical personnel with which to work that have provided me with the best of care and testing that has resulted in my diagnoses and surgeries before the cancer had a chance to spread.

I work for the Walt Disney Company.  I have been afforded the opportunity to have great medical insurance that continues to provide coverage that I would never have been able to afford under any other circumstances.  I am surrounded by a great team of co-workers that have been so supportive as I have traveled this journey for more than a year now.  What more could anyone ask for?

I really do find myself at the happiest place on earth.  There are so many more aspects to this company that people never have the opportunity to see.  If you happen to watch the TV show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”, you can get an idea of the spirit of this company and for what its employees stand.

Many of my co-workers are part of the Disney VoluntEARS who give countless hours of their time and energy in assisting people in their communities in just about every way imaginable.  The volunteering spirit seems to represent a uniqueness in the character of the people that this company employs.

My wish is that more companies begin to embody the spirit of this company and what it provides for its employees on so many levels.  It not only provides family values and content for its audiences around the world but also those employed here subscribe to the same values and share them in so many ways. 

So as I once again face a surgery on Tuesday, I not only will have my own wonderful family with me to cheer me on and support me along the way but I will also have another whole big team who has already supported my past recoveries and volunteered to help in any way possible.  I can’t begin to tell you how much that means to me. 

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Yahoo!!!  With the awesome talents of an internist, a cancer surgeon, a cosmetic surgeon and an anesthesiologist, the blood pressure situation was managed so that my double mastectomy and reconstruction surgery were successfully completed last Thursday and recovery is well under way.  I feel so fortunate to have had such skilled medical people there to remove the cancer, to take aggressive action to remove the second breast and to start the reconstruction and to wake up feeling like I had just had a great night’s sleep. 

 

Of course, Kirk was right by my side before and after the surgery and his sister and mother both came to the hospital to support him and me.  He has not missed a beat with taking care of every little detail since to make sure that I have had nothing to do but rest and relax.  I just don’t know how someone gets through such times without the support of someone who is so loving and caring and willing to do whatever is necessary.  I just know that each day as I wake I truly appreciate another wonderful day that has been given to me.

 

And I sure didn’t realize how many wonderful other family members, friends and co-workers that are in my life who have been so supportive and forthcoming with prayers and good wishes and offers of assistance.  I must say that I feel so very special and it is all of that wonderful positive energy that helped to diminish the negative impact that such an experience can create for someone going through such a major traumatic experience.

 

This week’s writings will be a little short because I am starting to get stiff and sore but I just couldn’t let a Tuesday go by with a posting and to thank everyone who has contributed to giving me each and every new wonderful day.

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