Friday, June 03, 2005

I Heart Picnics...

I know that it might be a little dorky to be as into my job at BBW as I am. However, I love the whole goal-setting of trying to sell more shower gel than everyone else. I take great pride in leaving a beautiful and well-stocked store on nights that I close. And I love spending time with the girls who work there. Many of us have been together for a long time, and we have a lot of fun...even at floor changes, a big one of which is happening Sunday. Look for the Big Semi-Annual Sale on Monday, kids!

Tomorrow, our shop director is having a picnic. There will be food, and there will be beer. I love food, and I love beer, and I love picnics, so I am a happy girl. There is just about nothing I would rather do on a summer Saturday than picnic. So clearly you get that I LOVE picnics.

Our shop manager, whose name is Lisa (I have decided I suck at giving people anonymous names, so I am just going to name everyone from now on. I don't think any of you are stalkers who will hunt these people from my life down.), is having this picnic as a combination 29th birthday/remission party. Yes, that's right...Lisa's in remission. Of course, to be in remission, you have to have had cancer. And Lisa has.

At the age of 27, having no family history of breast cancer, Lisa found a lump. Her doctor assumed it would be nothing, and it was shocking for everyone (no one more than her, I would imagine) when it turned out to be cancer. After a lumpectomy, the removal of many lymph nodes, and aggressive chemotherapy and radiation, word came that Lisa is in remission.

It's hard to be around someone who is fighting for her life. It's hard to talk to that person about things like how your boyfriend pissed you off (Hi, that would be Bill.), or how you aren't doing well on your diet, or how your car has started making a funny noise. What makes any of that important? Every three weeks, this person is getting her veins pumped full of what is essentially poison, hoping it will kill any leftover cancer cells and leave all the good cells behind. During chemo week, Lisa couldn't make it into work...she was too sick. Week two, she was a little better, and she could work some, but she wasn't 100%. Week 3, she was back to "normal" (the new normal), and at the end of that week, she had a Week 1 to look forward to again. While I watched her endure this, I couldn't help but be grateful that it wasn't me.

Now, she has finished her treatment, and she has gotten the great news that the cancer is gone. Please cross your fingers and say a prayer that it doesn't come back. I have to say that watching someone just about exactly your age go through something like this is not at all comforting. After all, what keeps it from happening to me? Tomorrow, as we picnic and eat and drink, we will all raise a glass to Lisa. She faced the enemy and she won...and we are glad to have her back at 100%.

6 comments:

Grandma said...

Good for Lisa, its nice to hear good news for once. You are right, its really hard to tell someone going through chemo that "my car is making a funny noise."

GlitterGlamGirl05 said...

My fingers are crossed for Lisa. Chemo is so tough. I've seen way too many people go through it. Know that I'll be celebrating (with my iced tea, tomorrow is weight in) for her!

Cty said...

Great post on a difficult subject! Cancer and chemo can be such isolating forces in patient's lives; kudos to you for being a support to Lisa - even if your comments are about "trivial" things I'm sure they're appreciated.

patrice said...

it's great that she got through it, and here's to her staying in remission!

NME said...

You are absoultely right. When talking to someone fighting for survival everything seems to trivial. You want to strike the balance between acknowledging their trials but not focusing on it. And sometimes whatever you say seems not right. Last month I was having a discussion with my stepfather who is most likely in the end stages of life and he said to me "I know my days are numbered." And all I could say was "That must suck." Brilliant, right?
As a nurse you must encounter this alot. I'm sure it is one of the hardest things about the job.
Congrats to Lisa!

Kat said...

Lisa is truly an inspiration and it is those people that make me thankful on a daily basis of all of the wonderful things I have or in the case of cancer, don't have.