Wednesday, September 23, 2009
.... I do not have a collection of shoes or an incredible OMG check out my wardrobe... I am easy going and casual in my dress and not overly particular about make-up or dresses. I have a wonderful 'half-sleeve' of tattoos on the very arm that is now covered up by a very dowdy and very medical looking compression sleeve with a gauntlet (this covers half the hand and thumb) and I am sure gives people around me the impression that something serious is being covered up .... only my tattoos are peeking out at the top near the shoulder. This makes me self conscious and I take the advice of the woman who has fitted me with this device to check out LympheDivas.
I go online and check out the different sleeves that are available and carefully select the Red Dragon with the band - I have adhesive sensitivities and have chosen their specially designed band that will hold the sleeve up. I am happy with the price ($90) but the cost of shipping from the States is hugely expensive ($57) but I look back down at the beige colored sleeve whose gauntlet is causing my thumb a constant ache and order it anyway.... I am actually excited about this purchase - it is in keeping with my outward personality and at least in keeping with the tattoos which will lie hidden beneath it. I am hoping that this is not a lifelong appliance but at the very least, I know I will enjoy wearing it!! I have an appointment with WellSpring this morning and I get ready to head out and meet with Mandi who will be taking me there on her way to another appointment.
WellSpring is tucked amongst the old Victorian houses on Hyman St. just off of Richmond. It is a free membership to those of us with cancer, support caregivers and of course my children. They are a non-profit organization that treats its members emotionally and spiritually through Yoga, art therapy, group therapy, Raki, Tai Chi, lending libraries etc. I take a quick tour and sign up for Yoga and a much needed Art Therapy class for me and one for my two youngest children. I am feeling a little out of sorts... I rarely ask for help and have always been self-reliant so I am not wanting to sign up for any group therapy - I had taken part in one years ago when I was pregnant with Mitchel just after my first marriage fell apart and the mediator was quite nasty with myself and a few of the other women in the group and the deep humiliation I felt left a bad feeling for many years after... it took a lot of guts for me to actually speak to her about her treatment of me instead of avoiding her or the group but looking around the meeting room with less than half of the original group remaining should have been a clear enough indicator... once bitten, twice shy. Perhaps I will benefit from the personal relationships I have developed with other women going through this journey.
My cell phone is ringing but I refuse to let it interrupt as one of the facilitators walks me through a quick tour of the place and remind myself to look at the messages when I arrive home 30 minutes later. I do not recognize the long distance number but listen to the message.... one of the ladies at LympheDiva is calling to ask me about the expensive shipping costs and that she can ship it to me for $10 instead. She also reviews my order and lets me ask questions. She corrects a mistake I have made and is relieved that I have returned her call. I am impressed with her and the care and time she has taken with me before shipping my order.... and I am curious. Later in the evening I go back on the website and see a link to another blogspot blog for the founder of the company who passed away from an invasive breast cancer at the age of 37...... one of the more recent blogs has her recounting her stay at a hospice and a quick promise that she will blog soon..... her husband finished her promise for her a few days later in the way of a funeral announcement. I just sat here at my computer, quietly reflecting on my own thoughts of mortality. She started her business for the same reasons that I called to order one of her company's sleeves - we already feel like we have been in a car accident we just don't want to look like it. Thanks to you and your family who have carried on the business.
I wish to thank Mandi for understanding my reservations and for sitting with me while I became more comfortable in surroundings she knows well from having worked there. She knows that although you feel strong.... there are seriously some days when the walls you are trying to hold up wouldn't take more than a gentle summer breeze to take down. I found myself feeling very emotional walking with my guide - her words were comforting to me - she is a survivor and knows all too well what I am going through... tomorrow I will go to my first Yoga class...
xoxo sending out my best to everyone