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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