The Sister’s Perspective: Cushioning the Blow

I don’t remember what I said when my sister, Kim, first told me of her breast cancer diagnosis.  For sure, I knew there was nothing I could do to fix her.  Certainly, I had no original thoughts about her crisis.  So, I listened to her strategy for beating cancer by taking charge of her own health and learning as much as she could about the disease and its triggers for her body.  This was her search and vanquish mission.  Kim’s doctors were merely staff.

Maintaining a positive attitude, along with being proactive, was the approach my sister chose; and a supporter could do no less.  So, what can you do for someone who appears to have it all together?  My first inspiration came shortly after Kim’s surgery.  She needed to cushion and protect the area just under the incisions below her armpit.  I went home thinking about a way to make her more comfortable and less afraid of disturbing the drainage tube and triggering  lymphedema.

After a bit of internet research, I found that what she needed was a pillow shaped like a half moon. Good start, but who wants to carry a pillow everywhere all day long?  So, I added a shoulder strap exactly like one on a shoulder bag.  We’re close to the same height, so I measured the strap length and size of the pillow on myself and drew a pattern.  The rest was easy—picking pretty, cheerful fabric, pinning, cutting and sewing.

By day two of her recovery from surgery, I delivered the zingy pink and green pillow to Kim.  No one has a bigger grin than Kim when she’s surprised or delighted with something.  The pillow was a huge success!

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10 thoughts on “The Sister’s Perspective: Cushioning the Blow

  1. Pingback: The Sister’s Perspective: Cushioning the Blow | "Shaping Clay"

  2. Jay

    Im so sorry to hear that you guyss are going through this. I used a regular blanket rolled under my mother’s arm and made a little sack with a wriststrap to hold the drainage bag since it had to hand lower tan the incision. That was in 1993. Know that there is much life after cancer.
    J

    Like

  3. Jay

    Im so sorry to hear that you guys are going through this. I used a regular blanket rolled under my mother’s arm and made a little sack with a wriststrap to hold the drainage bag since it had to hang lower tan the incision. That was in 1993. Know that there is much life after cancer.
    J

    Like

    • Hi Jay, I actually came out ‘on the other side’ six years ago. Because this is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I am sharing my experience for the first time. I remember the “drainage bag.” I referred to it as the little grenade and I tucked it inside a fanny pack. That seemed to provide enough protection. Thank you for your inspirational sentiment and for sharing your technique for “cushioning the blow.”

      Like

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