Let me start by saying that I never win anything. I’ve entered countless raffles, sweepstakes, bought lottery tickets, entered my name into various drawings. Nothing. I don’t gamble much for this very reason. I can’t stand to see my money disappear.
One day I was in one of my favorite beauty supply stores, and upon checkout I was asked if I would add some money to my bill for a donation. I will do this occasionally if it’s a cause I believe in. Like the American Heart Association–I think of my uncle who had a heart transplant. Or St. Jude’s–I think of my own kids and how lucky I am they are healthy. So when they said they were raising money for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, I didn’t hesitate. I guess when I donated, they had me fill out a card to enter a raffle for a prize. I don’t even remember doing this–I probably didn’t give it much thought since I NEVER WIN.
Now granted, this prize is not a million dollars, nor is it a week long trip to a five-star hotel in a tropical destination. But I am just as excited about it. It’s just a tote bag with some beauty products in it. I won’t have to buy much for a while, I’ve got everything from perfume to lipsticks. Shampoo to moisturizers. I’m pretty psyched!
When I went in to claim my prize, the girl working there thanked me for my donation to breast cancer. I had forgotten about filling out the card and the donation until she mentioned this. I replied, “Breast cancer? That’s why I won this? Well it’s pretty amazing that I won THIS prize because I’m actually a survivor.” She put her hand to her mouth looking emotional and said that it was meant to be.
Lately I have been worrying about the metastis thing. I’ve had some neck pain that is nagging me and of course I think it’s cancer. I hate that for the rest of my life, I will feel this way. When the call came in that I won a prize, the neck pain took a backseat to my cheer. As soon as I got it home, I felt like a kid on Christmas opening their stocking, going through all of my little treasures, pulling out this and that, opening the packages see what was inside. It helped me forget about the stupid neck pain. I believe it was God’s way of telling me to stop worrying so much. It was just the diversion I needed.
This is how I feel about cancer and metastisis , from one of my all time favorite Duran Duran songs:
I walk out into the sun
I try to find a new day
But the whole place
It just screams in my eyes
Where are you now?
Cuz I don’t want to meet you
I think I’d die–
I think I’d laugh at you–
I think I’d cry–
What am I supposed to do,
Seen better times than right now
But I’m not runnin’ away
No nothing’s gonna bring me down
It’s just been one of those days…
This past week, I was able to put my hair up in a ponytail for the first time in over 2 years. That’s progress!
Someone at work commented on my hair the other day. “Wow it’s getting long!” Flashing her my boyish photo on my work ID, I replied “you could say I’ve come a long way from this”. She smiled, and asked the million dollar question. “What made you cut it so short?”
I could have just said something like “well I was going through a phase” or “wanted to try something new” but I have a hard time lying. So I fessed up and told her about my treatment.
I remember that part of my journey through hell vividly. It was the worst part for me, worse than surgery and treatment itself. Everyone with cancer handles this differently. Some people I know proudly showed off their bald beautiful heads. But not me. I think for me, it was officially telling the world I was sick. And I didn’t want people to know.
Grab a handful of your hair. Give it a firm tug. Kind of hurts when you do that, right? Now imagine taking that same handful of hair and pulling it, but instead of feeling an ouch, the hair just comes out with ease and no pain. You never think you will experience that. You never think you will know what your head looks like without hair.
I remember when I started wearing the wig, I still had hair underneath. My long thick hair had been cut very short by my stylist in preparation of the big day it would start falling out. When I came home after work, I could not wait to remove the itchy wig and let my head breathe. Every day, I would give my hair a tug to see if it was the day. I remember the first time I pulled and didn’t feel the usual resistance, it was still shocking even though I knew it was coming. Once it started falling out, I would just sit down at night and pull out clumps, just wanting it gone but not ready to shave it.
One day, I pulled the wig off and it was really bad. I had hardly anything left, and what was there was really thin and limp. There was no reason to hold on anymore, so I asked my husband to get the clippers. I cried, I laughed at his bad jokes. But we got rid of it.
Here are some of my wig looks and the first time I went wigless in public when it was growing back. That was rough, but I was on a cruise so no one knew me. Not ready to share the bald look, but I will eventually. It is still hard to see myself like that.
On Halloween, I was trying to put together a costume. I thought a wig would make the look, but the thought of wearing one again gave me the chills. No thanks.
I know you’ve said this before. Maybe it was on that cold and dreary Monday morning when you slept through the alarm, and your child couldn’t find matching socks which made you even later, then your dog threw up on the carpet, and just as you cleaned the last of it the hem on your pants ripped and then you had to drive to work in the middle of a torrential downpour in stopped traffic which made you late for an important meeting.
Or maybe it was opening the door to the house on a 100+ degree day and rather than feeling the cool relief of the a/c, you realize that there was no a/c — and bonus, you can’t fix it– you need a brand new unit.
Or maybe it was that one time you actually did a full-on grocery run, filling up the cart with a whole week’s worth of high-quality meats, organic milk, cheeses (you are the type of person that gets a few things here and there and goes to the store several times a week) only to put it all away and during the night the power goes out which spoils all the food.
Or maybe it was when you were sick during chemo and every day you begged your 13 year old sweet yellow lab to hang on for you through all of this. You could see her slowing down, but pleaded with her to be there to comfort you. You then watched her pass away right in front of you.
Or maybe it was right after surgery when you finally ventured out in public. You still had tubes coming out of both sides of you and you were still walking a little hunched over from the pain of your incisions. You were so excited to find that perfect decorative vase to go on the ledge by your front door, only to realize when you got up to the cash register that your wallet had been stolen right from your purse. But on a good note, in the midst of this you get the call from the surgeon that they found no evidence of cancer.
Life is full of “really” moments. And you can get hung up on them. I used to.
I now know that a plan has been written for me, but I was not given the details. It’s frustrating, but it is what it is.
Woe is me.
It’s not fair.
Yeah, I could have said that many times in my life. When I got the cancer diagnosis, I never said “why me”. I’ve always remembered that as bad as I thought things were in my life, there are people out there that have it much worse. I was dealing with a life threatening illness, so I could have really been pissed off and feeling sorry for myself. But I didn’t. What about the parents that lost their child while on vacation at the “Happiest” Place on Earth? What about them? What about the victims of Sandy Hook Elementary? The horror that they went through and the incredible loss the parents will never get over. What about people in other countries that are sick but can’t get medical care or even clean water to drink?
I will admit that while I never felt sorry for myself, I did complain and whine. It was my way of dealing with it. But then I think how could I complain that my water tasted so bad on chemo–at least it was clean and available and SAFE!
I don’t have it so bad.
Sometimes when you have a moment of despair and feeling sorry for yourself, you have to ask yourself if there are people out there that have it worse. Most times they do.
I just watched a news report about a family coming home from their kids football game. 4 kids in the car with their parents. Both parents killed.
It puts things into perspective.
I had cancer. I got treatment. I have scars. But I’m extremely lucky and blessed.
I will never be free. Anyone that has had cancer knows what I am talking about.
When you finish treatment and get the NED (that’s no evidence of disease) word from the doctor, you are like “what the hell am I supposed to do now?” You are no longer getting toxic chemicals pumped through your body to kill the cancer nor do you see the doctor every three weeks, which leaves you feeling a little alone. You feel like you should still be doing something about this horrible thing that set up camp in your body and tried like hell to kill you. You feel like it will eventually escape from prison and wreak havoc all over again.
Being free is when you have no further contact with something or someone that was holding you back or bringing you down. That burden will no longer be in your life at all. You have cleansed yourself of the negative energy and moved on. Not so much with cancer.
Before this all happened, when a mystery ache or pain would hit me I would just think it was a strained muscle, or maybe bad posture was the culprit. “I must have pulled something or slept wrong”. But not now.
I remember right around Christmas, about 10 months after I was diagnosed and treatment had ended, I started to get this awful pain in my left arm. If I reached into the dryer to pull out clothes, the pain would shoot up my arm and it was more intense than anything I had ever felt. When asking the doctor how I would know a pain could be metastasis (mets), she always said look for new pain and pain that was different from anything I had experienced. Well this was both of these things, so I was pretty much convinced. I told my doctor who then ordered an MRI. She didn’t think it sounded like bone mets, but I didn’t believe her (I have had medical professionals tell me the wrong thing before, so this could be no different). I was a nervous wreck, Googling bone mets and where they can land. Large bones were mentioned. Shit.
I was already prepping myself for more rounds of chemo and possible death.
After waiting what seemed like a year, the test determined that I had frozen shoulder which would eventually go away with a shot and stretching. I couldn’t even believe that it wasn’t mets. A relief for sure, but I wondered when the next scare would come.
I got my routine blood work at my 3 month check up a year later. My liver enzymes were high again, a little higher than they had been. The doctor said, “I really don’t think it’s anything cancer related because your enzymes had gone up and down before cancer, but we will have it checked out.”
Hi ho, hi ho it’s off to another test I go. Only I wasn’t singing and whistling. The waiting, the thinking about how I will handle the grim diagnosis when it comes. Again, I was prepared for the worst news. I wouldn’t be caught off guard again.
Results were in. They found nothing. Whew.
What a freaking rollercoaster ride. Any time I have an ache or a pain, the logical side of me tells me that there is a reason for it and it’s not the pain she said mets would be, but the scared me goes to the dark side. I usually talk myself down off the ledge or call someone to help me with that. Eventually the pain eases and I know it’s not mets. This time.
PTSD doen’t only haunt people who were in combat. It strikes people that have had a health crisis too. It’s not a loud noise that scares me, it’s a new pain. Or feeling off. Or feeling nauseous or tired. Those things give me nightmares.
At our meetup last weekend, we were talking about the whole cancer free thing. I was asked “how do you respond when someone asks if you are now cancer free?” I never know what to say. I usually say something like “for now” or “as far as I know” or I just shrug my shoulders. You just don’t know for sure if there is a cell swimming around in there waiting for a place to call home. You don’t know for sure if that stiff neck is just from bending over a computer all day or if it’s something serious.
People that have had cancer will never be free. But hopefully, as the years go by, we will stop panicking over every pain and move on. Maybe this fear will be a thing of the past.
This past weekend, I had the pleasure of being with 4 amazing women from my support group “The Chemo Sabes”. Cancer made us sisters. But love and laughter makes us friends.
Thinking of how people come into your life and how things happen is quite mind-blowing. It is hard for me to believe that these women were not in my life at all BC (Before Cancer). 3 years ago I did not know them, but I feel like I’ve known them forever. They are part of the reason that I would not change a thing about what’s happened to me.
People meet in all kinds of ways, in all types of situations. At work. At the gym. Through their kids. At school. And during chemo. We’ve been through hell and back and thanks to technology, we got through that hell together. Say what you will about the evils of Facebook, but without it we would not have this bond and friendship. The Sabe Sisters (we dumped the chemo from our name when we were finished with treatment) span the country-and the globe. From Seattle to Pennsylvania. From Hawaii to New Zealand. And with Facebook we were able to be with each other at all hours, day and night. When I was on the couch, so sick that I couldn’t really do anything other than go to the bathroom, they were there, always ready to comment on a gripe. Some of us had it worse than others, but we all had our ailments. From battered nails to bloody noses. Stomach pain to bad skin. I could always count on chatting with someone that could relate.
A little over 2 and a half years ago we were all in that fragile state, watching the outside world go by while ours was on hold, but we had each other. When I was so depressed that I couldn’t enjoy good food or going on fun trips, I knew that my sisters were out there too, feeling the same way. While you don’t wish this on anyone, it does help to know you aren’t alone. It is amazing that many of us are still close, and have formed true lifelong friendships. We went from gagging on water on our couches to sipping Chardonnay on the deck watching the sun set over the water. From sitting in the chemo chair while the medicine flowed into our bodies to sitting around the breakfast table with our mugs of coffee, watching the sun come up and chatting about how Jan is about to embark on something exciting in her career and about Anita’s recent trip to Australia. From being in bed early feeling sapped from treatment to looking at the moonlight reflect on the water on a party barge singing RESPECT at the top of our lungs into the night. We aren’t dwelling on our cancer, we are celebrating the “gifts” it gave us. I can say that now that I am out of it.
Sure, we talk about the nasty c. That’s what brought us together. No one gets it like us. We know more about each other than most people know. Intimate details of the worst times of our lives. So yeah it does come up. And that’s okay. But it is no longer the only topic of our conversations.
Thinking about my weekend I can’t help but smile at the highlights:
Tina and I sharing a guest bedroom with 2 twin beds, watching old Duran Duran DVDs and feeling like we were back in high school, talking into the night. I feel like we have been friends since high school and we’ve only known each other for a couple of years. We were meant to meet for sure.
And just watching Anita dancing in her seat and singing to the music and having a GOOD TIME. Not drunk on wine but high on life.
And hearing Jan talk about the passion she has about her job and the work she does now and hopes to do in the future as she prepares to run for office. And “meeting” her precious children on Facetime.
And seeing Susan in her element at the lake–I got a glimpse of how much she thoroughly enjoys life all the time with her family and friends. We should all live like that!
I sat back and soaked it all in.
We are living our lives again.
I hope that one day more of our sisters can get together with us at these gatherings. They are truly inspiring. I still haven’t met all of the girls, but I hope to one day. It’s funny when you finally meet a Sabe that you only knew online. You just feel like you are hugging a friend you haven’t seen in a long time.
Let me start off by saying that while I am very open about my cancer diagnosis and health situation, it is still really hard to share some of the “gory details” unless I am talking to someone in one of my support groups or a close family member. It’s sad to admit that, but there is still a level of embarrassment I feel because of where this cancer was–the ta-tas. Writing this really puts it all out there for all to see and this is kind of new for me at this level. I did a Caring Bridge journal, but I didn’t even share my diagnosis in the Facebook world when I was in the throws of treatment, only a select group of people knew what I was dealing with. And forget about posting bald pictures. I just love the women that embrace it and own it. But I was not that person.
I remember sending a few of my closest friends a bald pic one day in a text, telling them to delete it immediately after seeing it. It was like an action spy movie– I wanted the message to self-destruct in 3 seconds. One friend said that I have a cute little head. Most women will never see themselves that way, and as I sit here it is hard to remember those days, where I had to wear a wig and a hat all the time, even to bed because my head would get cold. You don’t appreciate hair that much until you lose it. I now find myself playing with it, stroking it to feel how silky soft it feels, smelling it and inhaling the delicious smell of a fresh shampoo. Because I CAN. I still go back and forth about posting the Mr. Clean look here in my blog. We’ll see. It is just so hard for me to see myself that way, looking sickly, though I know it was necessary to get me to where I am right now. Alive.
I believe in intuition and gut instincts. My mom, working for oncologists for most of her career, always harped on me to do self-exams through the years. She even gave me a fake boob (a foob), made of squishy rubber with hard little lumps in it to practice on. Even well before my 40s she stressed the importance of this, telling me that you could get it even when you are young. So I got to know my girls pretty well.
I was always well-endowed. And dense. And lumpy. And always had this odd feeling that one day I was going to get the dreaded C. And I did. I just thought it would be years down the road from now maybe in my 60s. Not when I was 44. I always wondered when my time would come. I guess that’s why I never asked myself the “Why Me” question, I always asked “When Me”. Even though I had a feeling those ta-tas would cause me the ultimate grief, I was still in complete shock when it happened.
I’ve never been fond of my “jugs”. Being bigger on top meant that I could not wear some of the cute tank tops that I would see friends wearing in the summer. Being bigger meant if I wore something a bit tight, I would get comments, ogled at, pointed at and yes, called names. So I became very self conscious over it, covering myself up with baggy clothes and turtle necks. I always said I would love to get rid of them. Well, I did get rid of them. Completely. Maybe they were pissed off at me for not showing them much love over the years, I don’t know. But I have a new set and quite honestly, I really like them! Out with the old, in with the new. I don’t have to go for mammograms any more and that is huge. The first time I went for one after this all happened, I had hot flashes, felt like I could not breathe and was having major heart palpitations. PTSD. I get it any time I go to a doctor now, but to get the mammo again was pure agony for me.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Women need to be aware and check themselves along with the mammos. I found mine myself, because I had that little mom-voice in my ear telling me to always do a self-exam. But I feel that this month should not be just for talking about breast cancer. If you are one of those folks that just does not go to a doctor, you need to start. Get the dreaded tests, as crappy as they are, that come with age. If you think something is off, your gut will usually tell you what to do. Mine did.
Along with this month comes a lot of pink stuff. Friends of mine that have gone through cancer have mixed emotions on this. Some do the walks waving pink survivor flags wearing pink from head to toe, while others call it “stinktober”. I don’t participate in all of the pink activities but I am not against them. I just wish there was more awareness about other forms of cancer, more focus on metastatic cancer, and focus on rare illnesses that don’t really get any attention. I don’t walk around in a pink haze. I don’t go out and do the events. And pink is my least favorite color. But I am writing about it. And if that helps just one person, I’ve accomplished something.
Of course, I have to end my blog with something Duran related (because that’s what I do). So in honor of this month, here is a song called Sekret Oktober. I am going to make you non-Duranies fans, you will see!
I just knew in my gut something wasn’t right. There was a lump that wasn’t supposed to be there, things just didn’t feel the same as they usually did. My intuition told me that this was something to have checked out, even though I just had a “clear” mammogram six months prior, so I called to make an appointment. The receptionist gave me a date for two weeks down the road, and I surely wasn’t going to wait that long, so I asked if there was anyone else I could see. She scheduled me with a Nurse Practitioner and assured me that she knew her stuff–she had been doing this job for 25 years. Sounded good to me.
As she examined me the next day, she said in a very calm, matter of fact voice, “I am almost positive this is just a cyst, by the way it feels. I will still need to send you for a diagnostic mammogram, but I’ve been doing this for a long time and I just don’t think it’s cancer, and I wouldn’t say that if I wasn’t pretty sure.”
Whew. What a scare that was. I felt such relief at that moment, all the fear that I had washed away and left me feeling good about the situation. I could deal with a cyst, even if surgery was needed to remove it. Piece of cake.
I left the doctor office, imaging orders in hand and rushed to my car. I called my husband to let him know there was nothing to worry about. “See, I knew that couldn’t be a tumor already when you just had a clear test.” My husband replied. He is not a worrier, never gets worked up over anything, so when I was freaking out the night before he assured me that it was probably nothing. I always hate it when he’s right, but this time I was happy he was. I then called the radiologist office and they had an immediate appointment available, so I could go right over. That worked perfectly, since I already had the afternoon off from work. “Thank God I can just do this today and be done with it,” I thought as I drove to their office.
They say hindsight is 20/20. Boy are they right. As the technician was taking the pictures, she had the most solemn face I’d ever seen. She was borderline frowning. I thought it was interesting, but I figured it was just her demeanor, I had no idea at the time that there was actually a reason behind it. She took picture after picture after picture. Turn this way, stand straight, hold your breath. A little more intense than the mammogram I had six months ago, but I just thought at this point it was all part of it being “diagnostic” and not “routine”. They just wanted to get different angles and views for my medical file. I still thought I was dealing with a pesky cyst.
I was told to get dressed and have a seat in the waiting area for a few minutes. I should have started to suspect something was up because they weren’t sending me home with the usual, “we will send the results to your doctor and they will contact you” but I was still in the dark. I had no worry, but was getting a bit irritated that this was taking so long. “The radiologist would like to speak with you now,” the technician said with a pained look on her face. I can see it all so clearly now, but in that moment I just thought they were trained to keep a neutral face when dealing with patients. “Hmm, meeting with the radiologist must be protocol when you have a diagnostic mammogram”, I thought as I walked down the hallway. When I entered the room I smiled to the radiologist and sat down, still CLUELESS. The room was very dark, only the light was coming from her computer monitor and the other screen displaying the images, casting an eerie blue glow in the room. She started talking and I zoned out for a bit, just wanting to get this over with so I could go pick up my kids. “See, this is your image from 6 months ago. And this one is from today. You see this shaded area is new, wasn’t there before. And looking at the shape and the edges, and by the way it looks, this is highly likely to be cancer and I know that is not what you were expecting to hear.” I was stunned, sure I didn’t hear her right. I replied, “What? What does that mean?” I was confused. I thought I had a cyst. She offered me a tissue, I guess because she expected me to start falling apart. “I am not 100% sure, the only way to tell is to have a biopsy. But I am pretty sure it is.” I just sat there in silence. I couldn’t process what I was hearing. “Would you like to see about having the biopsy today?” she asked, sensing I might need that confirmation sooner rather than later. My husband wasn’t even with me, I was alone. And I couldn’t even comprehend what she was saying, I was in shock. “No, I will come back with my husband.” I replied. At this point, I couldn’t wait to get the hell out of there. I didn’t know what was happening to me. She handed me a business card in case I needed anything and I left. I sat in my car for several minutes before calling my husband then my mom. I wasn’t bawling at this point, I was in too much shock and disbelief for that. My husband’s reply was filled with anger, “She shouldn’t have said that to you, you haven’t even had a biopsy yet. You don’t know for sure and she shouldn’t scare you like that.” Again, my husband is not a worrier and still didn’t think I should get upset until I had the biopsy. My mom, having worked in cancer almost her entire career first in records, then as a nurse, was calm but I could tell by her voice that she was worried about it because she knows too much about cancer.
I believe there is a reason for things happening the way they do, and my mom not only has a lot of knowledge about cancer, chemo, radiation, but she actually worked in San Antonio for a while for a cancer center before moving back to Florida. So she was already in action mode by the end of the call, recommending doctors and planning who she would contact for some advice and information.
Contrary to my husband’s theory, I knew deep down the Radiologist was right, but in an attempt to make myself feel better I pulled the card from my purse and looked up her name to check her credibility. Maybe she went to some no-name school and wasn’t really the best at her job. Harvard. That was all I needed to see. The next day I got the biopsy and felt this was really not necessary. I had cancer, no additional testing was going to change that.
When I went back to the doctor to get the “official” biopsy results, I was prepared for the news, or so I thought. The Nurse Practitioner that told me it was a cyst called me and walked my husband and I back to the doctor’s office. Her face told me everything. I could tell she felt incredibly bad about giving me false hope and her eyes said she was sorry without her even saying a word. I could have been mad and screamed at her, but everyone makes mistakes.
When the words came out of the doctor’s mouth, I immediately thought of my 2 boys and that I was going to die. You don’t know anything when you are diagnosed, only that the word cancer is an ugly one and people die from it. I was advised to go see the nurse navigator for more information that she could help me sort things out. That meeting saved me from completely losing it. She took my hand and said in a soothing voice, “you are not going to die. You will have chemo, surgery and likely radiation to treat it.” Then she told me she would make some appointments for me with a surgeon and the oncologist, handed me a book to read and gave me some diet and vitamin suggestions. I heard what she was saying, but the only thing I could focus on was the word CHEMO. My mom had worked around chemo patients for a long time. I immediately thought of her stories of women puking, so sick they couldn’t even sit upright. And my hair. My thick, long hair. It would fall out.
I still thought I was going to die, despite what she said. Nights were the toughest. I was having nightmares in reverse. I would lie in bed in the dark crying and thinking of all that was to come and the what ifs–what if the intense treatment didn’t work and I would be left wasting away and then leaving the young boys that meant so much to me. I would fall asleep with these fears raging through my mind, but then would be in a happier peaceful place for a while, dreaming of normalcy and happy things, only to wake up and realize I was in the nightmare again. Nightmare was reality. I would cry out “I just want to be normal again. I just want life to be boring again.”
The first few days after you are diagnosed with cancer are the WORST. You haven’t really met with your medical team yet about the plan, so you have no idea what is going on, what your chances are to survive. And you are sent for test upon test to see if it already spread, to see if you are Stage 4. PET scans, MRIs, bone scans. It is the scariest thing you can go through and waiting for your results are unbearable. You think of all the movies you’ve seen where the lead character gets cancer (when you have cancer it seems EVERY movie ever made has a character with cancer) and dies and everyone is sad. You think that will be you.
I drove to work during those days in complete silence, which is not like me. I always listen to music to charge my batteries in the morning. But I just wanted silence so I could think. One morning I was in the shower and I was terrified. I started crying and I begged for some sort of sign to tell me it would be okay, that I would make it. I pulled myself together, got ready and drove to work, and half way to the office I decided to turn on the radio. I hadn’t listed to anything in about a week, so I had no idea what would come on, what was in queue. I pushed the on button and my favorite band came on, the song was fading out and ending. The next song, “What Happens Tomorrow”, started and at first I couldn’t remember it too well because it had been a long time since I’d heard it. It was a bit slower than what I was in the mood for, so I almost skipped over it to hear something really upbeat and cheery but something told me not to. As the song unfolded and I listened to the words, I got the chills. This was my sign. The words told me everything I needed. And from a band that brought me such comfort through my life. Amazing.
Duran Duran has always been there for me. And this time they proved they would be there again. My guardian angel was watching out for me that day, and it wouldn’t be the last time he or she sent me comfort through Duran Duran.