(scroll down for updates)
I've been wanting to do over my blog for a while, but I didn't have a good idea of what to change it to. Today I've been inspired to go pink for my friend Seon, who has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer.
She has asked me to pray for her. I'm not much of a pray-er, unfortunately. And even though I suppose I can pray in my own befuddled, agnostic way, I also ( and much more easily) wish her peace in her heart and in her family, and healing in her body. And every time I open this page, I will see the pink and think of her.
I have decided to use this post for updates, rather than making separate posts every time. So if you click on my Pink for Seon thingie in my sidebar, it will take you to this post, then you scroll down for updates.
Update: Tuesday, July 7
Seon had her double mastectomy yesterday. I went to see her today, along with our friend, Maryann. She is in a lot of pain. They couldn't give her anything for the pain right away, because her blood pressure was too low, and pain meds would make it go lower. That sucks. I think she's on something now, though. The nurses keep asking her to quantify her pain on a scale of 0-10, and she keeps telling them she can't rate it, it just hurts. Doctors and nurses were coming and going in and out of her room the whole time we were there. So we didn't stay too long. Maryann said a special prayer and annoited her with some special holy oil.
Thursday, July 9
Seon is home. Her appetite is better now, and her husband is cooking for her! Her post-surgical dressings and bandages are bound tight around her, making it hard for her to take a deep breath. (And when we were there the other day, the doctors were concerned that she should be able to exhale up to a certain level into a measurment tube. No wonder she had a hard time with that.)
But she sounds stronger already. That is comforting for me to hear. I know she still has a lot of hard work ahead of her. Tomorrow she will go back to the doctor and have the bandage changed. She will have her first opportunity to see how she looks. (She had reconstruction by a plastic surgeon immediately after the other surgeon did the mastectomy.)
Saturday, August 22
I talked to Seon last night. She had her first Chemo the other day. She feels OK so far, but she sounds tired. She will return for chemo every 3 weeks until she has had it 4 times, then she will be done. She says that her hair will fall out by the next time. :(
Saturday, August 29
Seon is doing OK, but her beloved little doggie, Yoda, was attacked by a coyote the other night. He was lucky to escape with just a couple of bite wounds. Most dogs his size (he's a malti-poo') would simply be eaten.
That would have been the straw that broke the camel's back if Yoda died. Their whole family loves him so much.
Wednesday, September 16
Seon called me yesterday. She had her 2nd chemo last Wednesday, and she was still not feeling well. She desperately wanted someone to come and help her clean out the rabbit's cage. I wasn't able to go yesterday, but I went first thing this morning.
Seon has shaved her head already. She shaved it as soon as it started falling out. She has a nice wig, but she only wears it outside, so as not to "scare the neighborhood kids and get the neighbors wondering and talking about her". This morning, she was feeling better, and she was eating a special "recovery soup" that a Korean friend had made for her. It was chicken soup with some strong herbs in it. I guess it doesn't matter where you're from, chicken soup really is the best medicine sometimes.
So we visited a little and then I said, "Let's get the bunny cleaned up." Pinky is an ancient white rabbit. I don't know how old he is, but he has to be at least 12. He is blind, and he doesn't move around too much these days. His "cage" is one of those hinged, multi-sided, bottomless x-pens set up in the corner of her patio room. He has a big tray to do his business in, but he seems to be doing the business everywhere else, including the tray, in which he also likes to sit, so...yucky!
It took some scraping, wiping, and mopping, but I finally got Pinky's area clean. Seon had the bunny wrapped up in a towel. She took him to the utility sink and gently washed his dirty chin and paws with doggie shampoo (not the flea-killing kind).
I told Seon that we should plan in advance for me to come over while she is recovering from her next chemo. That way if she's still feeling crummy, but needs something done, or errands run or something, I already have it on my calendar. She agreed, and we made a date for October 6.
Thursday, Oct. 1,
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Seon had her #3 chemo yesterday. She had been dreading it because she had such a rough time after the #2 chemo. But now it's 3 down and only 1 left to go!
Tuesday, Oct. 6,
Had a great visit today. I picked up a few things for her at the market on my way over, and I vacuumed her floor. We had lunch, and we saw deer in her yard!
Seon credits her feeling so much better to the traditional Korean "recovery foods" she has been eating. She eats little bits throughout the day, and drinks lots of water. It sure seems to be working.
Tuesday, Jan 12, 2010
I haven't updated in a long time, partly because I came to feel uncomfortable posting about someone without their knowledge. I have a feeling Seon would not appreciate all this, if she found out that random strangers could potentially read about her, even though I doubt they could "find" her. She is not a blog reader, as far as I know, but still....
I have decided not to update after today, at least not in this format. I will leave the pink ribbon in my sidebar, though.
Anyway, she finished her chemo in November, had her implants put in in December (I think), and has been struggling with pain from the implants. She didn't get much sympathy or help from the doctors, but she finally made a connection to a Korean woman who had a double mastectomy ten years ago, and also had trouble with her implants. This woman actually started a support group for Korean women. It's kind of far away for Seon to attend the meetings, but at least she found someone to talk to in her own language.