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a poem for my daughter Feb 2005

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    Posted: Jun 20 2009 at 8:11pm
The Day After

I awake at 3 with a start
with an ache in my heart
maybe this heaviness will go if I write
organize my thoughts..nothing trite
I still see you in my mind's eye
sitting beautifully erect as you try
to keep your bearings before they start
you know we will, soon, be apart
absent your eyebrows, lashes and hair
your radiance and bravery so striking I stare
you return my direct gaze
perhaps not knowing my thoughts thru the haze?
but then I see a twinkle in your eyes,
yes, Daddy, I know you love me, and I you, no surprise
the nurse questioning you
when will she be through?
but she turns to me and says 'I will take good care of your daughter'
and I know in my heart she will
the hours anxiously waiting and getting the good news
then magically seeing you in recovery
when they adjust your bed I see the shock as your breath is taken away
a pain so intense, even with morphine, you cannot speak.. nothing to say
except a gasp, the panic I see in your eyes
my heart breaks a little then
I know it will pass
but seeing my child, suffering so, disturbs me to my core
no parent wants to see a daughter go through this
but it is a necessary, life saving journey
you have intelligently embraced
and as I ask you if I can kiss your fuzzy head
you blink yes and as I gently nuzzle and caress you
I tell you I love you
and you say I love you too
our love resonates and strengthens us
we are all with you
later, W. sobbing in my arms
kissing the top of his head
telling me how much he loves you
it rings true
how lovely your vacation was
precious time alone
my dear Sari, stay positive, please
a little better day by day
sure, some bumps, along the way
but someday walking again with W. on a lovely beach
love, warmth and happiness within your reach


siempre, Dad

............

The above was written a day after her PBM..she had a quadrantectomy in August 2004, dx TNBC 1.6 cm 75% invasive high grade stage 1b...found out BRCA1+ (both of us) Sept 2004..then she had 4 month AC+TAXOL then PBM with immediate reconstruction in preparation for silicone implants. The PBM enabled her to avoid radiation therapy. W.is my son-in-law.

June 2009...my daughter is NED...fit...energetic...beautiful...still scarred but working on it..

I wanted to post this because it's Father's Day and I always think of my kids and I also always think of those on TNBCF and FORCE...also I wanted to offer some encouragement that sometimes the chemo works even with TNBC...and yes, I know all too well that sometimes it doesn't...

all the best,

Steve


Edited by SagePatientAdvocates - Jan 09 2021 at 4:58pm
I am a BRCA1+ grandson, son and father of women affected by breast/oc-my daughter inherited mutation from me, and at 36, was dx 2004 TNBC I am a volunteer patient advocate with SAGE Patient Advocates
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cg--- Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 21 2009 at 5:47am
A Happy Father's Day to you Steve and all the fathers who come here.
 
One thing I know that transcends all cancer is love.  I was blessed to have a loving, kind, and gentle father who never ended a conversation without saying "I love you". That was long before the phrase 'sensitive man' was coined.  He was diagnosed with prostate cancer at age 53 and died at 71 (oncologists gave him 5 and God tacked on another 13 wonderful years).  My father was not leaving until someone call him 'Papa'....and his face lit up like a beacon every time it was called - sometimes 4 voices in unison! He could not hear Papa called enough. 
 
Loving memories of a loving father and grandfather.
 
Thanks Steve for letting us remember.
 
Connie
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SagePatientAdvocates Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 21 2009 at 6:27am
Dear Connie,

Thank you for sharing your beautiful story. You were blessed. I grew up without a father. My parents were divorced when I was six and I didn't see him for 25 years. A story for another day, maybe.

I had my grandfather but he was a very difficult man..I cannot ever remember him telling me he loved me...I used to tell him I loved him all the time and I would get a nod, once in awhile..did that nod mean he knew I loved him? or did it mean I know you love me? grrrrrrr.
on my tenth birthday I went to kiss him goodnight as I did every night that I can remember before that night. He literally stopped me by putting his hand on my chest as I leaned over to kiss him in his chair. "didn't you have a birthday today?".."yes, Gramps, I was 10.".."well from now on we will shake hands...men don't kiss."....well, my grandfather had a brother my Uncle Jack who was in "show business" he was about 5'2" (I am 6'3") and he was an acrobat. whenever I saw him he insisted on a kiss hello and goodbye and a giant hug..he was one of the loveliest men I have ever known in my life..one day I screwed up the courage to ask him "Uncle Jack, Gramps told me that men don't kiss"..I can still hear his instant response "your grandfather is a s******" (sorry for the ****** on Father's Day)...I am glad I had Uncle Jack in my life. I kiss all of my sons
they are now 41 to 24 and always have and of course my daughters. I just thought...if my grandfather had been my sole influence I may not have kissed my sons..what a loss that would have been..

After my mother passed away I spent a lot of time with my Uncle Jack at the Friar's club in NYC. He made his living playing cards there and it always amazed me to see singers like Nat King Cole kissing comedians like Milton Berle. It was a "show business" thing and I think it is beautiful. I wish more men did it in this country.

The last true story....I found my dad when I was 31...the little boy in me was expecting a kiss hello..all I got was a handshake..we talked for hours and he shared the following with me.."I used to nuzzle your head and kiss you until you were one. A friend of mine told me 'don't do that-your son will be gay' so I stopped." I got up off the chair in his living room and said "please get up Dad"..he did and I put my arms around him and kissed him and he kissed me back and then we wept..My dad was a very difficult man and I am sad to say that I am glad I grew up without him but at the end I knew he had loved my mother and I and that was important to discover. In thinking about it, the most important thing I found out...also it was kind of cool to see my hazel eyes on his face..all of my six children have brown eyes, as did my mom and I have my dad's eyes and I also walk like a duck, like he did..

By the way my dad grew up without a dad and was raised by a grandfather who never kissed him..no role models, huh? just a stupid friend he listened to.

My two surrogate dads-

my sixth grade school teacher...a marvelous man who died of cancer in his 50's and avery dear friend who was 20 years older than me. we were friends for 50 years. He at times, was like a father to me, an older brother and then he was like a son to me when he got terminally ill with mesothelioma..and then at the end almost like an infant...now I am crying as I type..

I sign my cards to my wife, at times, Papa...I think it is a beautiful word and I am so delighted you had a beautiful dad. Perhaps one of the reasons your heart is so big....

all the best,

Steve

p.s. sorry such a long post, Connie and all..somehow you hit a major nerve with your lovely story..
I am a BRCA1+ grandson, son and father of women affected by breast/oc-my daughter inherited mutation from me, and at 36, was dx 2004 TNBC I am a volunteer patient advocate with SAGE Patient Advocates
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MMGabriel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 05 2011 at 7:10pm
Old post...reminds us how lucky we are that Steve is here with us.
5/10 Dx IDC TNBC, age at diagnosis 39, Stage 2, Grade 3, 2.7cm, 0/3 Nodes; ACx4/Tx4 dose dense; 6 Weeks Radiation
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 123Donna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 05 2011 at 7:56pm
I agree!  This post was before I joined and I appreciate reading the loving words.

Donna
DX IDC TNBC 6/09 age 49, Stage 1,Grade 3, 1.5cm,0/5Nodes,KI-67 48%,BRCA-,6/09bi-mx, recon, T/C X4(9/09)
11/10 Recur IM node, Gem,Carb,Iniparib 12/10,MRI NED 2/11,IMRT Radsx40,CT NED11/13,MRI NED3/15

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zoomommy2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 05 2011 at 9:25pm
Wow, Steve!  You were a wonderful writer on this forum before I was even diagnosed.  We are truly blessed to have you in our lives.
Lee in Denver
dx6/09,stageII,gr3,(L)mastectomy 7/09,ACx4,Taxolx7,Avastin study,gall bladder surgery 1/10,4/11 Stage 4, mets to lung, 4/11 Started Taxotere and Xeloda, 5/11 Taxotere stopped, off Xeloda
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SagePatientAdvocates Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 05 2011 at 9:41pm
Dear TNBC Foundation Family,

I must confess, I haven’t read the poem for awhile.....but all the feelings of the day came swirling back...and it is all so, so deep. At one point Sari had about 50 poems I had written on the walls in her home. I would see her stop and read a particular favorite in the corner of a room. My heart on her walls.

It is now six years after I wrote that and Thank G-d my little girl is still NED. My little girl is now 42 but she will always be my little girl. As an update, she still suffers from the ordeal she went through but time has helped her, I believe; and this Wednesday, March 9, we will be at a “Tea and Talk” for TNBC Foundation at Saks Fifth Avenue in Hackensack, NJ from 11:30-2 .. I am looking forward to meeting many of you for the first time and introducing you to Sari. I hope some more folks will come, as well.

When I first posted the poem I was new to the forum and now it is home...For all you newbies and folks just starting on this journey with us...you will find a beautiful, warm family...A home, where you can write and be safe and be loved...where we ‘get it’...an extraordinary resource..

Thank you all for your love and support and for the way you share with each other and me.

with my love,

Steve
I am a BRCA1+ grandson, son and father of women affected by breast/oc-my daughter inherited mutation from me, and at 36, was dx 2004 TNBC I am a volunteer patient advocate with SAGE Patient Advocates
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SagePatientAdvocates Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec 21 2011 at 5:36pm
To my beloved TNBC family,

I was going through some old threads and came across this....

I wanted to give thanks for my daughter’s good health. NED 7+ years. We are spending the day together in Manhattan, January 4th and I can’t wait to hold her in my arms. I rejoice in her good health and wanted many of you out there who wonder if there is any ‘long-term’ to all of this that there is and yes defining long-term as 7+ years for a 36 year old woman is bizarre when you think about but it is what it is.

And to our dear Connie and zoomommy who posted on this thread. I miss you both and pray that you are resting in peace. Two beautiful souls...

To all-please continue to try to find the beauty in each day...

Today, for me, the beauty was reading this poem, again, and thinking back to my daughter’s dark days of treatment and the love that flourished in the abyss and overcame what were the horrors of chemo and surgeries for her. My love for her just keeps deepening. It is complex, but in some profound way there is a beauty to our love that has met all the challenges. I know it may sound bizarre to some, with all the grief she went through and how it broke her heart and mine and all the awful memories it brought up regarding my mother but I feel blessed. Blessed that she is still here and blessed that I will be holding her in my arms, soon.

I would like to wish all here a lovely holiday season and as good a New Year as possible...

with my love,

Steve


Edited by steve - Dec 21 2011 at 10:25pm
I am a BRCA1+ grandson, son and father of women affected by breast/oc-my daughter inherited mutation from me, and at 36, was dx 2004 TNBC I am a volunteer patient advocate with SAGE Patient Advocates
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BamaRachel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec 21 2011 at 7:02pm
So beautiful, Steve.  Thanks for bumping this.  I had not read it before.  Thank you for all you do for all the wonderful ladies on this forum.  Merry Christmas to you and your family.  Hope you have a wonderful visit with your daughter. 
DX 7/5/11, TN Invas; Lump w/clear marg., 7/21/11; Stage 2A. Grade 3, 2.6 c; 0/6 nodes; TX 8/22/11 4DD E/C; 4Taxotere; Chemo ended 1/3/12; 33 Radiation Treatments, ended 3/15/12.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 123Donna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec 21 2011 at 7:55pm
Steve,

Thank you for bumping this up also.  I too find it bittersweet to read some of the old posts and read posts from our lost angels:  Carynrose, Connie (CQ), Zoomommy, Christine, Diane, MJ to name just a few.  How I miss them.

Donna
DX IDC TNBC 6/09 age 49, Stage 1,Grade 3, 1.5cm,0/5Nodes,KI-67 48%,BRCA-,6/09bi-mx, recon, T/C X4(9/09)
11/10 Recur IM node, Gem,Carb,Iniparib 12/10,MRI NED 2/11,IMRT Radsx40,CT NED11/13,MRI NED3/15

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SagePatientAdvocates Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec 21 2011 at 10:39pm
Dear BamaRachel,

thanks for your kind words...

one of the most treasured things my daughter and I had were really tight hugs....from when she was a little girl to when she was a woman....until she had her bilateral mastectomies...then she was petrified that her implants would be damaged or it might hurt her chest so we, at first, hugged very, very gingerly and then we jointly came up with the idea that my daughter would control the hug pressure...

Over the 6 years since her final surgery we have gotten much closer to our original hug level, pre-surgery.

Sometimes, in life, you take certain things for-granted like a warm hug. Perhaps not a major thing for many but very special for us and we are getting there...probably never will be exactly the same but we are much comfortable now than even a few years ago...

Cancer has taken a lot from my daughter..and I know from many here, as well..sometimes some of the ‘little’ things are not so little. we are determined to, as best we can, have our love triumph over cancer.
Having said all that, my daughter has told me, often over the years, “I will never be the same, Daddy.” I know that is true for her but I am hopeful that as the years go by the pain will lessen more and more for her.

love to all,

Steve
I am a BRCA1+ grandson, son and father of women affected by breast/oc-my daughter inherited mutation from me, and at 36, was dx 2004 TNBC I am a volunteer patient advocate with SAGE Patient Advocates
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SagePatientAdvocates Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec 21 2011 at 10:41pm
Dear Donna,

I agree with you and I did not mean to omit names....the two I mentioned just hit me because they posted on this thread.

You remain in my prayers, my friend, and thank you for all that you do for us...Truly remarkable..

hugs,

Steve
I am a BRCA1+ grandson, son and father of women affected by breast/oc-my daughter inherited mutation from me, and at 36, was dx 2004 TNBC I am a volunteer patient advocate with SAGE Patient Advocates
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 123Donna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec 21 2011 at 11:22pm
Steve,

I'm sorry my friend I didn't mean to imply you omitted any name.  I know I've omitted names too.  There have been just too many lost.  I guess it's good for us to read the posts and remember these beautiful people.  I'm glad you brought forward your poem for all of us to read and share.

Donna
DX IDC TNBC 6/09 age 49, Stage 1,Grade 3, 1.5cm,0/5Nodes,KI-67 48%,BRCA-,6/09bi-mx, recon, T/C X4(9/09)
11/10 Recur IM node, Gem,Carb,Iniparib 12/10,MRI NED 2/11,IMRT Radsx40,CT NED11/13,MRI NED3/15

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SagePatientAdvocates Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 09 2021 at 4:46pm
Dear TNBC Family,

I came across this post, again, just now. 

The years sure seem to have a way of slipping by. I am in our family room watching two grandsons playing together and thinking of both of them as newborns 9 and 5 years ago.

And I think of my daughter, now 52, to whom I wrote the poem. She was 4 lbs 10oz at birth and had to stay in the NICU because she was under 5 lbs. I can still see myself giving her her first bottle. What a joy, to hold her!

There are two reasons I want to share this again-

to give those here encouragement that even though TNBC can be a tough cancer to treat, my daughter will be a 17 year survivor this coming August. She is NED (No Evidence of Disease), healthy and I believe her good fortune will continue. 

the second is Donna123-

Her commitment to this wonderful forum is truly remarkable. Her knowledge, gentleness and compassion are all palpable. Donna, thank you for being such an important resource for all of us and please be well/safe in 2021 and beyond. 

with my love to all here, and please continue to 'try to find the beauty in each day.'

Steve

I am a BRCA1+ grandson, son and father of women affected by breast/oc-my daughter inherited mutation from me, and at 36, was dx 2004 TNBC I am a volunteer patient advocate with SAGE Patient Advocates
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