Friday, December 19, 2014

To Face Unafraid, The Plans That We Made...

Me:  "Well,  there are easier ways to get a good parking space..."

Bruce:  "True, but I needed a really good excuse to retire..."

When we think of the Big C at Christmas, we probably (should) think of Christ. After all that is the Reason for the Season, right?  Then, maybe, we get caught up in the other big C's (no, not caroling and cookies): Consumerism and Cash.

Nobody really wants to think of Cancer.  During a holiday time, it is like the Spanish Inquisition...


No one expects it.
I waited to write the final chapter to my IDAL diaries because I wasn't sure how the story would end. I'm still not ready to fully commit-there is always room for a happy ending.
A few days before I went to IDAL, a routine pre-operative x-ray showed that Bruce has a mass in his lung. Wait? What? How can a procedure to repair damaged neck vertebra go in this direction? It turns out that many symptomless lung masses are accidentally picked up on Thoracic x-rays done for something else. 
Bruce is a non-smoker and fit man. He has worked out his entire life and maintained an impressive level of fitness into his 60's. This is an IRON MAN, one of the originals having completed the Kona race in only it's second year.  A CT Scan showed us more. Modern medicine is beautiful and terrifying at the same time.
So with this literal shadow over our lives, I went to IDAL the end of September. As Bruce said, "You do what you promised to do." And I did. Because that is what a professional does. I taught my classes and participated in board functions. I went to the Mad Hatter and almost lost it when the bidding went high on Bruce's pottery.  I really wanted him to see that!
Mr. Faux holding Bruce's Balls of Clay.  Believe me, right now a laugh is a good thing!
I stood on stage with Lyna and let people vent their frustrations while offering the best suggestions and ideas I could.
I did my job.
And with the Board's knowledge and support (and Sue's phenomenal help)...
we drove home on Friday so I could help my husband face the biggest challenge of our 20 years together. Now, while I am working the show, Bruce worked with Emily to prepare our studio for the possible changes ahead. Remember that Emily is planning her Wedding! I've seen many young women become selfish monsters planning a wedding, but not our Emily. She was (and is) the definition of grace and even-temperament. A blessing.
And this past Monday, December 15, we have our answer. Bruce has lung cancer. Even now while I type this, I still have trouble believing it. That is part of the problem with lung cancer, and why even though it is more deadly then breast, colon, and ovarian cancers combined, it receives a fraction of the funding.  It is so associated with smoking that many people and many primary care doctors ignore early warning signs. One of our reasons for going public with our story is to make other's aware of this disease. Awareness equals funding. Funding increases research. And research leads to better detection and treatments.
We are also going public because we are proven fighters. During this whole process that began in late September, our business has run like always. We had a class series every month with our last one ending just this past week. Our inventory and shipping maintains a good pace. We even managed the studio and 2 classes while Emily was on her much deserved 2 week honeymoon.
All this was (and is) possible by the incredible love and support from our real families and our faux family. Ashley came back to work the studio a few days...OK, maybe that was also a little break from her beautiful 3 kiddos.  Sue, Jeanette, and Leslie helped with classes and studio prep. Jeanette is really our fairy godmother! Besides Sue, Suzanne and my sister, Sally are my emotional touch stones.
We are lucky that my Mom and Bruce's brother Stan have been in our home to help.
What does this mean?
It means that we will do what we always do:
Bruce will enjoy time with his friends and family
He will fly his drone
And his plane
He will work on his pottery

And when needed, he will help at Surfaces. Most importantly, he will be living and enjoying his life.

And me....
I will be putting out the Surfaces 2015 class schedule and teaching monthly. I hope to travel teach some in the late spring at other studios and chapters. Emily and I will run Surfaces day to day. We have already reorganized the store front, warehouse, fauxy painter, and shipping areas!

I will be increasing this blog and....

running my races in my quest to acquire more bling while wearing silly clothes!

But mostly....
 I am here to love my husband. We are like "peas & carrots."

And to accept "C" I am happy to receive.  Like better parking and retirement, there are easier ways to get free food. But we will take it.