Monday, October 10, 2005

FAQs about SV's BOOB

dear friends and family,
many of you have shown an interest in the particulars of my treatment/recovery, so i thought i'd do a little FAQ section here:

Q. how are you feeling?
A. fine, thanks, and you?

Q. single or doppo?
A. left side only w/some lymph nodes. right side was 'clean.' aka, "no foam"

Q. how did surgery go?
A. well, most of the time i was asleep so i'm can't really say.

but first, i was awake. nurse bernice walks me down the silent 'corridor of death' (the charming name that other BC patients gave it) past other ORs. on the right is a lovely view of the East river. my eyes are streaming tears. she tells me it's ok to cry. jesus also wept. that god is mighty. that she was in the very same operating room w/a huge tumor yrs ago and she's still here. her faith is very reassuring - not alienating. this still surprises me (oh me of little _____)

then bernice knocks on the OR door, like we are there to borrow a cup of sugar. another nurse comes out and they joke about keeping us waiting out in the hall. ha ha. . then i'm invited in to meet the gang. this is so and so and so and so - i do not manage, "oh hi guys! how's it going?". i just keep crying and say hi. the new nurse tells me not to feed the so and so's. ha ha. i wonder if they don't notice i'm crying or if this is OR protocol for despondent patients - ignore and SMILE, SMILE, SMILE. like a vaudeville act. i meet 2 or 3 other masked avengers. one puts in my IV and says this is the only pain i'll feel.

dr. swistel comes in and tells me that he cracked up when he read my last email asking if he'd still respect me afterwards. i'm still crying tho.

Q. how did you find this?
A. don't really remember - just felt it myself when i was lying down - couldn't miss it. waited until one period passed by to see if it changed, then we went on vacation etc. so i'd say i waited about 2 mths after i'd felt it.

however, my advice is to go immediately upon feeling anything. why did i wait at all? denial i guess. not that the drs though it changed anything for me since this cancer grows fairly slowly. but why wait?

Q. how can i help?
A. a huge help to me is to NOT ask a lot of questions - you could read what i've written about my cancer, treatment, etc. and then go to or or even call their 800 #...
i have too many questions of my own to have to tell everyone all the upcoming details unless you are a dr. or a BC patient yourself, you dig?
also, you could write to first for the lowdown on me, then once you've got your notes prepared, we can talk.

Q. do you enjoy emails?
A. yes, immensely so - way better then phone calls whether i'm ill or not.

Q. may we send cards and gifts to your children?
A. well, i guess so. i mean, something much smaller than what you'd send an actual patient, i suppose.
really - forego the flowers to me and send them something instead! a gift to them is a gift to me.

Q. don't you think you're kind of hung up the "gift" aspect of your situation? you mention it a lot.
A. no comment

Q. if you are so ill, what are you doing taking yoga?
A. that was a joke

Q. do you think it is appropriate to disseminate misleading/false information when people are concerned about you?
A. this interview is over


Anonymous Anonymous said...

dear sarah: thank you for this interview. it answers many questions and lets your friends know where things stand and what's helpful to you and what isn't. the image of faithful nurse bernice walking you down the hall, then the good time guys greeting you in the OR, knocks my socks off; people sure do behave differently, don't they? i'm glad that bernice, at least, didn't act like you were crying because you'd just cut an onion or slipped on a banana peel.

on another note, i think your interviewer got a little impertinent, bringing up the gift business. but i like the way you shut him (i'm just going to assume it's a him) down, lickety-split. no time to suffer fools!

we'll see you soon, and in the meantime, lots of love and positive chi vibes flowing eastward from me to you,
xoxoxo big lou

10:12 AM  
Anonymous Beth Rosenberg said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi s,
it's been a very good week to be curled up and recuperating in bed so I hope that you've been able to do btw continuing your new career as blogger extraordinaire. will be coming to the city week after next - prob. wednesday/thur (oct 26/27) so e me before then and let me know if leila and i can come by for a gift-giving gifted girlie girl afternoon. love,

11:24 AM  

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