Tuesday, July 9, 2013

When Your Health and Business Collide

Sometimes you have to make hard decisions.

I was diagnosed with stage III esophageal cancer this spring. I finished 6 weeks of daily radiation and weekly low dose chemo-therapy at Umass.  I was fortunate to not suffer too many side effects, the worst of which was extreme fatigue. I was so tired.  Like Mother's Day with a big wedding and a corporate party tired.  This was followed by a rest period to allow the radiation and chemo to continue to work.  

I have been reevaluated and surgery for a full esophagectomy is the next step.  I go in Wednesday July 10th.

This is pretty big surgery.  I will have my esophagus and part of my stomach removed.  And wouldn't you know it, but the esophagus is sandwiched between your heart and lungs.  BIG surgery.  I will spend at least 10 days in the ICU followed by a 2-3 month recovery period.

So the hard decision - what to do about the shop?  OK, picking a surgeon was hard, but making the tough business decision was just as hard.

I have decided that Sprout will be on a temporary, emphasis on temporary, medical leave of absence until I am well enough to return to work.  I'm hoping for after Labor Day, but we will have to wait and see.

I hate the idea of letting my customers down.  It's important for us to be there for you - to cheer, celebrate, and share in sorrow - for all of your life events.  But for my mental health, as much as for my physical health, I need to do this.  Trust me, I tried to think of all of the alternatives, I just couldn't see managing a store from my bed and still giving you the Sprout you expect and deserve.

So, for those of you who would like to follow along with my recovery, I have created a CaringBridge web site - http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/cathysprout .  Husband has promised to update it during the time I cannot be on the internet.  You can leave me get well wishes in the guestbook there!

And before you ask if you can send me flowers in the hospital the answer is NO!  Can you believe it, a florist with no flowers in the hospital?!  But rules are rules and no blooms in the ICU.  I'll be at Brigham and Women's in Boston, for all you medically opinionated types.  :-)
If you have googled please remember that the statistics represent everyone that has this diagnosis and is not specific to an individual -  the treatment I am undergoing is the best curative course available.

See you as soon as medically possible!


Kynda said...

Cathy-- It goes without saying that you are a fabulous designer, but I love your writing too and I always look forward to your posts. Thank you for writing this brave beautiful message to let us all sprout followers know. You are a class act. Sending prayers for your health, healing, recovery! Be well.

Kathy said...

I wish you the best of luck and look forward to seeing you healthy in the fall.

Sar1212 said...

I'm so sorry to hear about this Cathy; thoughts are with you for a speedy recovery! I had my knee surgery (ACL repair) done at Brigham and Women's and it was amazing. Best wishes!

Something Floral said...

Cathy, we wish you a successful surgery and full and speedy recovery. Thinking of you! Best Regards, Kim and the entire team at Something Floral and Something Spectacular Custom Event Design.

HPotter said...

I don't know if I've ever commented here before, but I very much enjoy your blog, and would like to thank you for introducing me to many others I now love to read. Sending you lots of good thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery. As a small flower shop owner I can imagine how hard the decision to close for a few months would be, but I'm sure you're making the right choice. You don't need to be worrying about what's happening when you're not there, just focus on getting well. Best wishes, and I look forward to reading your blog again when you're on the upswing!

Michelle E said...

Will be thinking of you Cathy. Wishes for the recovery to be as speedy as possible.

- Michelle Elwell

Sean Dacey said...

Best wishes and good luck with your recovery, Cathy.

Worcester won't be the same this summer without Sprout to brighten our days, but that will make your return in the fall that much better and brighter!


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