Monday, June 1, 2009

No One Cares More Than Girlfriends

Since I wrote this post 24 hours ago, I found out that a friend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer. That makes three friends in the last 12 months.

My Girls have been under the knife twice. First in 1999 when, after a two year battle with the insurance company and a fantastic surgeon as my advocate, I had the much needed reduction I had pined for throughout my teenage years. And again in 2005, with an infant and a two year old son to care for, to have an egg sized lump removed.

I knew Mac Daddy was a keeper when he took one week of his vacation time to care for me after my reduction. Keep in mind the man only had two weeks for the whole year and used half of it for me. We weren't married, engaged, or living together; we were just dating at the time. He drove me to the hospital, wrung his hands while I was under general anesthesia, changed my bandages, and cared for me. The man recoils at the sight of blood yet kept it together for me.

The other people who cared for me after both surgeries? My girlfriends.

Back in 1999 my dear friend Shan came to my little apartment almost daily to fix me breakfast, help me bathe, and get dressed. Courtney strolled over with her newborn baby to bring me sushi for lunch. Cathy came after work just to keep me company. Pam brought me magazines, crossword puzzles, and cookies. A team of girlfriends kept my kitchen stocked, my spirits up, my dressings fresh, and my heart filled. They drove me to doctors appointments, picked up prescriptions, bought me tampons, baked me brownies, cleaned my apartment, brushed my hair, cleaned the snow off my car, poured me wine, listened to me babble, wiled away the hours.

And in 2005, with little baby Deal and almost two-year old Bird in my arms, I faced surgery and general anesthesia again. My fate was more daunting this time around. Finding an egg sized lump couldn't possibly bring good news. I played the "what if" game over and over, lying awake in bed, zombie walking throughout the day, tearing up at the oddest and most inopportune moments. For weeks I was unable to lift or carry my children. When Deal cried I couldn't get him from his bassinet. When Bird needed a boost up the slide I couldn't give him a lift. When the boys fell asleep in their car seats I couldn't carry them to their beds. I couldn't hold Deal to feed him or perch Bird upon my lap to read Richard Scarry books to him. My mother's touch was reduced to pets and kisses and faces pressed cheek to cheek. I couldn't care for my family. And again, my girlfriends stepped in.

Carmen came to sit with me for hours at a time to pick up Deal from his nap, help me feed him a bottle, and change his diaper. Kathy brought diversions for Bird and took him to the park. A whole throng of friends from work brought me lunch and books for Bird. Lisa traipsed in with groceries and stayed a while to do puzzles with Bird. My girlfriends stepped in to not only care for me this time, they cared for my children. My babies. My sons. They loved us like we were family, and then some.

Without my girlfriends, my Girls would have never recovered.

And so what better way to honor my girlfriends (and my Girls) than to walk/run/sashay across the finish line in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure? My dear friend Christy, of artichoke wack n' cheese fame, came up with our cleverest of clever team names: Stop the War in My Rack.

Click here to donate your latte money for the day. Every penny, dime, nickel, and Euro will help. My Girls thank you. And I implore you to start those monthly self breast exams. Schedule your mammogram. Pay attention to your body. Be your own advocate.

And oh, you wanna buy one those fantabulous T-shirts? Just leave a comment with your email address so we can contact you regarding sizes and payment. All proceeds from your purchase will help Christy cross the finish line of the 3 day walk she's gonna conquer in October. Your Girls will look so great in the pink camo that your girlfriends just might want a shirt too.
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Jen L. said...

Oh, Jeez. Keeping your friends in my thoughts. I'm going to try and find some folks to do the big walk with me in October. We might have to order us some of those snazzy shirts...
Thanks for reminding us all to take care of our Girls!

Selfish Mom said...

My goodness, that was a touching post. Makes me wonder who would step up for me if I were in that situation. Maybe I should get off of my computer for a couple of hours a week and try to nurture the friendships that have kind-of fallen by the wayside as I've gotten busy. I hope they all know they can call on me.

I'd love a t-shirt please. Amy@SelfishMom.com

Karen Hartzell, Graco said...

What a great post. It made me think all of all my own girlfriends and how special each of them is to me. We are pretty lucky to have them all aren't we?

DCUrbanDad said...

I am so pissed we can't walk / run in this years race. We signed up for swim lessons for the little one.

Great post.

BlondeMomBlog (Jamie) said...

This is such a great post and cause. That is so scary about your situation and yes your husband is a keeper!

I found a pea-size lump late 2006 and ended up having an in office biopsy and then a lumpectomy in November 2007. Thankfully I "only" have fibrocystic tissue. My MIL was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, though. She is doing great after radiation.

p.s. I love that shirt!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow, you are a hero. Yay for you, your girls and your girlfriends--and this post to call attention to a great cause.

Melanie Sheridan said...

Breast cancer has touched so many of us in so many ways. My first mammogram was nerve wracking. Thinking of your girlfriends and so thankful for my own!

ShallowGal said...

I'm going to need 2 of those shirts please!

teachmama said...

I'm thinking of your pal and know that we'd love shirts--my 3 sisters, mom, and me.

Way to fight back!

Brenda Bartella Peterson said...

So pleased your girls have come through all this trauma with good final results. And, once again, I am humbled by the significance of girlfriends in our lives.

Thanks so much for sharing your stories. For all Dirt and Noise friends, here's another girlfriend story: http://www.brendabartellapeterson.com/index.php?page=notes&display=64


Unknown said...

I like this t-shirt.And i like to gift this t-shirt for my girlfriend

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