Monday, August 17, 2009

Calling All Warriors...







A very dear friend of mine from all the way back to the covered wagon days of high school is have a mastectomy today. I'm asking all of you to say a prayer, shine the white lights and call all the angels to look after her and all the other people living with and fighting this disease.

I have learned so much from her about different choices available depending on when the cancer was found, how big the spot and the type of cancers. I also am learning lot about choices you have when you have a mastectomy. For instance, I did not know that on the cosmetic reconstruction you don't even have to have a nipple. You can get a tattoo if you prefer, of whatever you want on your breast instead of a nip.

To give you an idea of my friend's outlook on life and her incredible sense of humor, when she was telling me about having choices, she had me in the floor laughing so hard I was crying. What nailed me was when she said she was thinking about getting the recycle logo tattooed in case she had a senior romance she figured it would be a definite conversation piece. When I talked to her last Friday I asked her what she had decided... a nipple or a tattoo. She said she thought she might like to get a dahlia... a beautiful pink dahlia, not a red one lest anyone would think she was a "hussy".

With an attitude such as that I have no doubts that she is going to do great but it never hurts to call out the forces and ask for protection for my friend, I'll call her Teacher. I'll call her Teacher because she does and has taught school for a bunch of years and she has taught me so much in just this short span of time since her diagnosis about breast cancer and the so very many treatment options that are out there nowadays... And also about laughter in the times of facing adversity.

And,hey you all, go get your mams slammed. Do it! It can save your life.

20 comments:

hetty said...

I am sending cyberspace thoughts and best wishes to your friend, Teacher. Sounds as if she has a good sense of humour. Sometimes that is the most important part of getting well.

Lonicera said...

She sounds very special, and I wish her all the luck in the world. On the plus side, she's got you for a friend.
I hadn't heard the expression "slam the mam" before, but it certainly describes the horrible process wonderfully and made me wince as I read it. After these hideous tests I always find myself wishing that men had to go through the same procedure to check testicles. It would REALLY make me feel a whole lot better...
Caroline

Aleta said...

Sending prayers for you friend, Teacher. She sounds like an amazing woman! A sense of humor is exactly what is needed at times like that. How fortunate that she has a friend to share the laughter and tears with.

Pastor Sharon said...

The tallest warrior is strongest when he/she is on his/her knees. I there with ya, shugah.

Sara said...

My best wishes to your friend. She has a wonderful attitude and it should help her healing process. Love the term "slam the mam" - I have one coming up myself. Just got tested for the breast cancer gene this summer and had a negative result, but still need to be vigilant about those mammos.

farmlady said...

Please tell your friend that Farmlady had breast cancer 25 years ago, in 1985 and a reccourance five years later. Each time I would say to myself (and anyone who would listen) that I was going to see my children grow up and I would celebrate my 60th birthday. I DID!
Never give up "Teach". If you've got friends like Helen, you've got a wonderful support system and be sure you let them help you.

One more thing, please. Never call it "my cancer" and never give it the honor of a capital "C". Don't give this disease power over you. Slay the dragon and laugh in it's face.
My prayers are already there.

Reddirt Woman said...

Hetty I got a message from her daughter this evening that her mom was through the surgery and in the recovery room. While the surgery took longer than expected the surgeon was very pleased and feel that they got all the cancer.

Caroline I forget that some folks that stop by are from a different country but you've read me enough to know that when things are serious I have to try to add a bit of levity. And I think the same as you as far as the smashed testes you know that someone would find a better way, but for now it's all we have... that and self examination.

Aleta you know how some people in your life touch you in different ways? Teacher is one of those special people. The ones where you might not see each other or talk for years and then pick right back up on shared stories and experiences and people. I'm just thankful that she is my friend.

PS, thank you. While I still can't get down on the left knee I sure can on the right one and in my head the left one also and I'm thankful to have friends that I can count on to not only be there, but to help this old woman up.

Sara my friend and roomie Carol told about a teacher a number of years ago that spoke at the Okla. Teachers Assn. that was in her early thirties and she had been diagnosed with breast cancer, but too late for much to be done but for her to live as best she could and when the pain started coming the doctors would address drugs to ease her that would eventually have to be stronger and stonger until she passed. She urged every woman out there to self exam, get a mammogram yearly. If there is family history of cancer start younger than the recommended, what age is it now, 40 or 50. If there is history in the family I've known women that started in their twenties, trying to be safe and aware of their own body and their responsibility to keep their selves as healthy as possible. That made such an impact on Carol, just as Teacher made me realize to not wait another 4 or 5 years just because it's uncomfortable for a bit and people always know when you walk out from getting it done and you feel you look like you're walking around with dinner plates under your blouse or in my case, saucers...

Thank all of you for your kind words, thoughts and prayers.

I'll be here if you ever need to call on me.

Reddirt Woman said...

Farmlady, I'll make sure that she gets your message. When I asked her if she would mind if I wrote about her experience she said that it was fine with her. If her experience helps get even one of the people that drop by for a bit of a read then it would be well worth telling some of her story. I will make sure that she either reads it herself or that her daughter or sister reads it to her. I wanted to post this on surgery day so that the call to arms would be fresh in anyone's mind that read it.

Thank you my friend, my survivor friend. Even if she and I both kissed 60 goodbye already I'll tell her to wish for reaching 80 or 90.

Laura ~Peach~ said...

thoughts and prayers and love the tatoo ideas!

Staci said...

I've had two very close friends who are survivors - one for almost 21 years; the other for, let's see now, it's right at 21 DAYS since she got her "all clear". Tell your friends every prayer I can think of is going out for her today.

Twisted Fencepost said...

I'm a little late to pray for the surgery success, but I'll definitely pray for the healing.
I have two very good friends who are breast cancer survivors.

Mary Ellen said...

I missed the surgery (sorry I'm late) but I'm saying a prayer for her rapid healing and complete recovery. I have no doubt that a special lady like Teacher will do great - with a sense of humor like that and friends like you, how could she not? Love to you both.

Margaret LaVonne Hall said...

Sending all the energy I can muster to your friend...I wish her only the very best of health and renewal...You are such a kind heart and friend to bring on the Warriors...
Namaste, Margaret.

Robynn's Ravings said...

SASS! - who but YOU could come up with a wild and wacky name for a mammogram but you? A Mam Slam! Now that is positively inspired! You should copyright the term. And that's something women can remember and maybe even laugh at. And boy, is it true.

I'm so sorry I missed your plea yesterday but will CERTAINLY be praying for a good outcome and all that will now come. What an incredible attitude she has. But does that surprise me, hanging around you?!

Reddirt Woman said...

Laura, I think if anyone has to go through a mastectomy they ought to be able to figure out some way to have some fun with it. A positive attitude and a sense of humor.

Staci I told my friend that when she was up to reading for a bit she needed to come and read because I have such a wonderful, positive group of people that stop by and she needed to see that we all took a moment just for wishes and prayers for her recovery.

Becky I'm usually a day late and the dollar short on everything and so don't feel bad. The main thing is to get all the positive thoughts and prayers for Teacher and keep people aware and fighting for all those people living with and continuing to fight cancer.

M.E. thank you. I did get a message on my cell phone that she was in recovery and though the surgery took longer than expected, the surgeon was very pleased and felt they got all the questionable tissue. So that is great.

Margaret if we can't call out the Warriors it would be a sad state of affairs. We are here to help each other and I think more and more people are realizing that if we put the call out we will get all the light and all the prayers working to help each other. I'm so thankful that I've realized that it's okay to ask and be asked. And what better way to seek help than through the blogsphere?

Robynn I just love you! I never thought about it being an odd phrase because to me it so aptly describes the procedure. I just said it like I think of it... but really, Teacher's cancer was spotted on her mammeogram and I just feel that one of the things we as women don't do or put off is procedures like getting the mams done because the slams hurt.

Tipper said...

I'd be glad to say a prayer for her speedy recovery-and I will!

Reddirt Woman said...

Thank you so much Tipper. I'm learning that it is okay to ask others for help and support. They come through like i would for them but it's a hard lesson to learn...

Karen (KayKay) said...

I missed this until today. I'll still be keeping your friend in my prayers. She sounds like an amazing person. Humor is such a healing thing and it sounds like she has that going for her. And a mam slam! What a great description! I'll be calling it that from now on.

DocSly said...

You are such a special friend to call in the prayers for your Teacher. I will keep her in my prayers for speedy recovery. I believe a positive attitude is one of the best medicines in this world. Mams for all!

Terry said...

Howdy Helen
Blogger and I had issues now for the past three days I could not leave comments ,however I have been able to read and just wanted you to know I am praying all out .
Thank you for posting .
A mam slam is so important .
I love your creative and colorful way to get your pooint across.
You are a blessing and your friend is blessed to have you !
Big hugs with blessings
Happy Trails