This year I met a young woman, Michele, who lives in Tennessee with her husband and 3 daughters. Michele is in her 40s; the daughters range in age from 19 to 9. Michele was diagnosed with the same kind of breast cancer that I was. Her tumor was larger. In younger women it tends to be even more aggressive and dangerous.
Michele spent much of the year so far having chemo treatments. She started with the same course of four sessions of two different drugs that I had. After that were another twelve sessions with two more drugs. For more than five months she went regularly to the hospital to be poisoned, and still had a household to run, to the extent she could.
Sometimes, especially with larger tumors, chemo is administered before surgery is done. The intention is to shrink the tumor, and in the best cases, to eradicate the cancer cells. Recently she finally had surgery, a double mastectomy. There was good news and bad news in her pathology report. The good news was the surgery had “clean margins,” meaning that the surgeon was able to excise all of the tumor area with a little to spare. Also there was no evidence of lymph node involvement. The bad news was, there was still active cancer in the tissue. All the chemo did not completely eradicate it.
After some healing she will start a series of reconstructive surgeries. It’s a long road.
I thought she could use some comfort while she recuperates. I made her a quilt. At approximately 72″ x 62″, it’s big enough to watch TV under on the couch, snuggling with one or more of her daughters. The block style is named “Delectable Mountains.” It’s a modern variation of a traditional block of the same name. I named the quilt “Shadow Play.” Though dark times can come into our lives, shadows only appear when there is light.