Friday, May 17, 2013

This is My Wife

You're undoubtedly aware, at this point, of the many ways that cancer (you motherfucker) has impacted Team G:TB. Today's guest post comes courtesy of Work Jerome von Dumbarton, a long-time FOG:TB and current Buffalonian (may not be a word). This post is actually reposted from Jerome's blog. It'll both impress you (at one woman's courage) and piss you off (at fucking cancer, again).

If somebody tells you that 36 hours from now Angelina Jolie is going to temporarily flip your world upside down would you believe them? I wouldn't but that's what happened to my family. Yesterday morning the world awoke to find that Ms. Jolie underwent a double mastectomy. As sometimes happens the local media jumped to find ways of bringing a national story home.

Not everybody knows this but approximately six weeks ago my wife, Madeleine, underwent a double mastectomy at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Somebody from Roswell got a hold of my wife's story and she spent the better part of yesterday and this morning making the rounds on local media. It's worth noting because women are making this same decision every day. This is her story.
 
My wife broke the news to me in the summer of 2012 while we were still living in Washington, DC. It was, in a word, stressful but her OB's recommendation was clear. Double mastectomy and, for kicks, removal of both ovaries. There was a lot going on at the time so we put off the inevitable while contemplating the next phase of our life, which include relocating to Western New York. It was a little abstract but it was always there lurking in the shadows. I'm fairly certain it was attached to the U-Haul trailer.
 
Jump ahead to February 2013. We're sitting at Roswell meeting with the various surgeons. Shit just got real. I quickly learn how courageous my wife is to go through this for her family. It's important to note that if you have a strong family history you have options and you should investigate them all. For the few, including my wife, with the BRCA1 mutation it means statistically the best option is a double mastectomy. We (meaning my wife) reviewed all the research, considered all the options and then we consulted with the surgeons; who confirmed what we already knew. We made the decision to have the surgery primarily for the twins. Kids need their mother. I think Madeleine explains it best to the listeners of WBEN (here) and viewers of WIVB (here). What the hell - here too.
 
The surgery was Tuesday, March 26th. We arrived at 9:00a. Madeleine went under the knife shortly before 1:00p. I saw her next at 8:00p. Over the next two weeks, including three days in the hospital, I really understood Madeleine's strength. She took a short walk less than 24 hours after going under, was eating and sitting up shortly after, and off her pain medicine less than a week after the surgery. Then it was just clearing drains regularly, rebuilding strength, a few weeks of physical therapy and visiting nurses and we are done...with Part I.
 
Then it was regular filling of the expanders (you can Google it). At the end of July Madeleine begins the reconstruction process. The entire show should be over by the end of the calendar year. The twins, at the ripe old age of 3, have been remarkable through this process. The support of friends and family is immeasurable.
 
I am telling this story to brag. Not about my connection to Angeline Jolie or about Madeleine's 15 minutes. I am, however, bragging about my wife - her strength, her courage, her love and sacrifice for others. We are telling this story so others have a better understanding while making this important decision. Hopefully many other women are telling their stories as well. Also, F-You Cancer.
 
Us - 1
Cancer - 0

38 comments:

Danimal said...

Huggin it out with Jer and Mad's. Damn.

Mark said...

Well done. As someone who's sister was just diagnosed with breast cancer a few weeks ago, this hits close to home.

zman said...

Excellent writing and an even more excellent story. Mark, I'm sorry to hear about your sister. I hope that she and Madeleine make swift recoveries.

Mark said...

Thanks, Z. And prayers for Work Jerry, Madeleine and the twins from down here in Florida.

My sister is a triathlete and one of the toughest people I know. I believe/hope that being in tremendous shape and possessing extreme mental toughness will be great assets for my sister.

Dave said...

yikes. this makes my hangover trivial.

Mark said...

Souls of Mischief coming to Orlando in July. This makes both 35 year old and 15 year old me very, very happy.

jerome said...

Thanks all for the re-post. More importantly, thanks for the kind wishes and positive thoughts. Sending the same out to Mark's sister.

Clarence said...

Wow. This makes everything I ever write seem trivial.

Fingers crossed for Work Jerry's whole family and Mark's sister. I know it's frightening for all involved, but it seems like there are good people to lean on in each instance. Very, very best wishes.

Shlara said...

Jer--sending positive vibes to you and Madeline. You made it through the toughest part--the rest is smooth sailing.

This scenario is all too familiar to me...and although I wouldn't want to repeat it, the experience has given me a new appreciation for this charmed life I lead.

As the kids say:YOLO

Danimal said...

Mark - all the best to your sis.

Donna said...

Not even knowing you, Jer or your wife, Madeline, or your sister, Mark, I feel compelled to say they are all fierce, strong, courageous, and have already faced and will continue to face their particular circumstance of mother-fuc!!%#ing Cancer with grace and resilience indeed!! And I believe Shlara already has! Amazing. Thanks for sharing. Gives me perspective, which on the first day of kids home for "summer" because school gets out early in the hills of eastern Kentucky is something I sorely need!

Danimal said...

and in lighter news, this would make a great xmas gift for the most of us. still yet, i envision something a little sleeker to be placed in the high-end hotels of the world, an arm of sorts that extends out from the wall and is adjustable. this is a good start though. your welcome rob.

http://tinyurl.com/cc3s3ra

Danimal said...

you are welcome

Danimal said...

Could use one of those right now. And by the sounds of it the guy next door coulduse some Immodium and a towel

Clarence said...

Gheorghies?

rob said...

big gulps?

Clarence said...

Some people weren't cut out for life on the road.

T.J. said...

Just ate my first maple bacon chocolate rice krispie treat of the housewarming party. It is absurd.

TR said...

Wife and I are in NYC for a very rare overnight w/o kids. We have a phat meal in Cobble Hill and a Killers show at the Barclays Center. Very excited, but much too sober.

Danimal said...

The overhead view of Preakness brings me back to the days.

Mark said...

I too am far too sober. But that's because the wife is out of town for a friend's baby shower. Stupid baby.

Clarence said...

Agreed, Dan. Our experiences at the Freakness stand in direct contrast to the other two triple crown events, at least as they have been portrayed on the telly. Preakness is white trash central.

zman said...

Oh, the Belmont is really classy.

zman said...

This is right up robs alley.

http://www.news.com.au/travel/news/spider-eats-snake-caught-on-camera/story-e6frfq80-1226332961171

rob said...

gaaaah

also, in hideous things, listened to the pacers' broadcast for the first quarter tonight while driving home from the doofus housewarming. one of the most egregiously homerrific pairs i've heard in some time.

TR said...

PA system cranking Ace Frehley's epic "New York Groove." Guilty pleasure.

Crowd is hilariously random. Barclays Center is pretty sweet.

rob said...

if loving 'new york groove' is wrong, who wants to be right?

Mark said...

Barclays is badass. As arenas go.

How was the doofus housewarming?

rob said...

the pacers have both tyler hansbrough and miles plumlee. that's a lot of honky to hate.

doofus housewarming was nice. it's a cool crib. danimal will be upset to hear that my local abc store doesn't carry ron zacapa any longer. the doyles got the local rye instead.

Mark said...

It's super old, isn't it? They were close to closing on it when they visited in March. Sounded like it was a very cool. And much bigger.

rob said...

guessing it was built in the 40s or 50s. great little community.

rob said...

oh, z: http://www.wired.com/autopia/2013/05/lamborghini-egoist/#slideid-57810

Dave said...

hi gheorghies!

circus and preakness are both white trash central.

rob said...

also, jacksonville.

hi, danimal!

Squeaky said...

Fuck you, fuck stick cancer.

Hi Gheorghies.

TR said...

Hola Jorges.

TR said...

Ran into a wasted Owen Wilson at the show. One of us was with a supermodel in leather pants. #baller #hashtags

T.J. said...

Hey gheorghies