Taking Care of You

I came across a question in my recent Oprah Magazine:
When was the last time someone took good care of you?image

Great question, isn’t it? I don’t know about you, but I thought of several scenarios. I chose this one because I saw a video on Facebook about a beautiful thing a group of girlfriends did for their friend with cancer. They took ‘care’ of her that day.
Here’s the link: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rGhrgesWqXE

And here’s my story:
Early 2011, fifteen days after my first chemotherapy for breast cancer, the first clump of hair came out while I was showering. I was hysterical. Despite my post mastectomy ravaged chest, it meant I couldn’t pretend this wasn’t happening. Even worse, everyone would know.
I called my boyfriend, AW – sniffles and tears snuffing the life from my words as I told him what had just happened. He lived in CT – I was in temporary quarters with my parents, on the south shore of LI. He consoled me as best he could and arrived the next day with an electric razor, a bottle of champagne and Sinead O’Connor on his I-Pod.
What he did next, took care of me in a way that I could not have imagined I needed, much less found the words to construct a request…
As I sat on the edge of my tub, I braced myself for the vision of seeing my hair, my hope, my life, fall down around my feet. Tears streamed over my cheeks and chin. Fear was running rampant through my thoughts as I wondered what more would happen in the days, weeks, months, to come.
But as I heard the buzz of the razor and felt the sharpness of its weight vibrating against my scalp, I didn’t see as much as a single strand – AW was capturing my hair from each pass, with his free hand.
When I realized what he was doing, my tears shifted from the depths of inner turmoil to the dizzying heights of wonder served on clouds of compassion. In that moment filled with life altering extremes, I had been truly and deeply ‘cared for’.
Before I knew it , we were both humming to ‘Nothing compares to you’.

Thank you Ax…xx


  1. Aunt Dorie

    Merilyn, you know, there are times we actually forget that you are a cancer sur”thriver”. You have made so much of your life and now helping others who are battling this same disease. We salute you and we love you. This particular segment of your blog really touched me. Your boyfriend, AW, did an awesome thing for you. I hope he is awe of it. Hugs!

    1. pharmacistsdaughter

      Thank you so much, Aunt Dorie…as with so much in life, there is no rule book. We often do the best we can.
      In the words of the great Maya Angelou: ‘When you learn, teach. When you get, give.’ I am blessed to have both learned and received through this experience, so my path is clear. xo

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