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.


  1. This is something you will beat! You both are so strong and I will continue to hold you both in my prayers and pray until so for Bruce's healing! Know that your community of friends and family is here for you!

  2. You are such an inspiration. You are in my thoughts and if there is anything I can do just pick up the phone. There is no doubt in my mind and heart that bruce will kick the big c. Hugs, Antje

  3. Sending lots of loving, healing light to both of you. You are 2 of the strongest people I have been blessed to meet and you will beat this. It has been such a tough year for so many people in my life. But we shall all gain strength from the journey down the paths we have traversed. Thank you for sharing your story and giving so much of yourself to inspire us all.

  4. Praying for strength and healing. That "C" word is a bad one.

  5. Oh, Rebecca! My heart goes out to you and Bruce. You're both an inspiration to us all. I'll wrap you in Gods prayer for healing. Sending you love and thoughts of a full and speedy recovery.

  6. Rebecca, I am shocked. As you may know I just lost my mom this past September 11 to lung cancer. (She had non small cell poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma.) I don't wish this on anyone and won't candy coat it. (another two "c's" :)) It will be tough. TAKE time to be still, to be with him, to love him. You will not regret it. It was hard for me to come to the realization that I had to slow down but in hindsight it was the only way to make it through. Your clients will be there when this is all finished.

    I know you have an army of support around you. Use it. Let everyone help. Cry, fight, laugh, love, rage, let all those emotions come out. I've never met you but love reading your blog and admire your drive. I wish I could give you a huge hug.


    I am so sorry about this news but you both are tremendously strong and will get through it somehow. Lots of people will give you advice about diet, about treatments, but do what feels right in your gut.

  7. You are one of the most professional people I know and you both are strong fighters. I am here for you both and will do all I can to help. Dee is right, listen to your gut and make room for casseroles.

  8. Rebecca - I am shocked and so sorry to hear this. I know hearing the "c" word is difficult but you and Bruce are strong and will rise above this. You two are such an inspiration to many and you have an army of us praying and pulling for you. Enjoy each other everyday. My mother is a survivor of lung cancer for 28 years now. They found the tumor accidentally just like Bruce's. Keep the Faith. I'm sending prayers your way.

  9. Rebecca, I had seen posts about Bruce's neck but had no idea you were doing battle at this level. Prayers being lifted up for you both!!!!!

  10. Oh Rebecca, this hit me right in the solar plexus. I feel -- at a loss for words. I am shocked, sad, and can only imagine the emotions you both must be feeling. I will put you both on my Light List and send you lots of warm, gentle energy.

    You both are amazing people. Please take care. We love you.


  11. My thoughts, prayers, are with you both..

  12. Rebecca, I enjoy reading your blogs and follow you guys on FB. You both are a tremendous inspiration and such leader in our industry. I am glad to see you have such a strong support system around you. I will pray for you both, and know that you will get through this. God Bless.

  13. Thank you for sharing your heart-rending thoughts. You and Bruce are a perfect team and both are strong, life-loving survivors, and together, you can accomplish much. Keep positive and live every day to the fullest and know you have an army of love, prayers, and well wishes continually going your way! Like someone said, it's up to the man up above....and positive attitude is one of the strongest weapons in fighting an illness, and I think you and Bruce have tons of can win this 'marathon,' Rebecca, just keep going!

  14. Wow, you guys have been dealing with a heavy hand in life! It is never easy or welcomed but you just hang tough and deal with it the best you can with love and understanding. You've already shown you both have the sisu (strength in Finnish) and there's no doubt that you both have enough love and understanding .... we've all seen so much of it already!!! <3 One day at a time while still making plans for the future and eat healthy. It's been studied that intense nutrition fights cancer ... it can't hurt! Even though it sounds like you guys already eat healthy. Love & Hugs to you both XXOO. I'm 9 hours away if you need studio assistance, would be happy to help!

  15. Thank you all for your comments and sharing your own personal stories. We are adjusting to our new reality by trying to remain true to who we are as individuals and as a couple. Bruce said to me "We are no longer an effective team" (this is from the movie Oblivion). Me, " We are always an effective team-just our mission has changed." We will get through this and we appreciate your continued love and support!