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Sunday, November 27, 2011

scars are sexy


family holiday photo
 Happy be-lated turkey day!  I was fortunate enough to be able to spend it with family, and I remember it!!!! Last year I was assed out from chemo and can't recall what I did.  We started the day off with Scott running the Turkey Trot (which is a Greenaway-Barkley tradition).  Then we had my mom, sisters, Nick (Kristi's amazing fiance) and Austin (the sister's wonderful roomate) at our house.  We eat the "meal" for lunch because inevitably Scott has to work, which he did.  We eat in plenty of time for him to load his plate full and then relax a bit before he heads off to work.  Then we get to spend all day together lounging around. 

My last post was on Thursday the 17th before I headed off to my physical therapy appointment.  On my way to my appointment I was in a car accident.  It wasn't my fault, and my CRV is totaled! The guy may not have insurance so we are meeting with a lawyer on Tuesday to get our things in order. I don't know how much I can say, all of the lawyer business is over my head. But what it comes down to is that I am back to the beginning, plus some, when it comes to physical therapy. I worked so hard to be able to move my shoulder and it is back to where I started, and now my left shoulder is there too.  My entire back is sore, I have trouble turning my neck, I can't sleep and am in an enormous amount of pain and all of it is very frustrating.  I feel like I was pushed back so I thought I would make a list of things I am thankful for....it is hard for me to remember them when I feel defeated.

I am thankful for...
1. Family, my family is above average when it comes to support and friendship, there were times when we were younger (and I was a complete bitch) that my sisters and I didn't get along. In fact, I was a miserable person who just couldn't figure out what I needed and I took it out on my sisters, thankfully I grew up and grew up better.  Now, my sisters are my best friends, hands down. I don't know if I could function without them in my world. They both hold a very special place in my heart. My mom is a champion. She is the woman I want to be when I grow up. She is my world, and many times my compass.  During my bitchy years, she stuck through it and here we are, 10 years later, and she is my best friend. I talk to her daily, if not more.

2.Additions to family: We all know that Scott is pure joy, he is my rock and he puts up with not only my crazy, but he loves me for who I am sans nipples and all.  He fits in the Greenaway family perfect! Nick, my sister Kristi's fiance, is the same. He fits into our family as if he was there all along.  I am so thankful for the men in our lives, the additions to our family. My dad would be proud.

3. Friends, near and far.  It is hard for me when some of the closest people to me live the farthest...(big shout out to Tasia, Brooke, my Goddard lovelies). My new world is a crazy place and I am so thankful to have friends that can anchor me and support me. I would list you all, but it would be too long! Cancer took my breasts, but it gave me a network of support and opened friendships that I didn't even know where there. I am so thankful to each of you, for the strength you gave me, and continue to give me.

4. Women. Whether you have experienced breast cancer or not, you still have breasts. We are our best advocates. I am thankful that women can create a circle of trust and of spoken word where you feel lifted and transformed. I am thankful for the additions of love that women bring to me.  There is something undeniable about a group of women, listening to each other, sharing their stories, raw, full of emotion--it's transformative.  I am thankful that women fight, that we take breast cancer head on and challenge it.  I am thankful to the surivors who read my blog and share my blog.  I am thankful to be a survivor, a fighter, now I am a woman who now wants to support other women taking on breast cancer. 

5. I am thankful to have a new perspective.  I am someone completely different than I was prior to being diagnosed, both physically and mentally. My priorities have changed, and with that comes readjusting the supports I have around me. I have reevaluated many things, and am still working on that. I have a to-do list that could wrap around the world, and I know that it needs to be focused to something much more tangible at some point, but until then, I will continue to dream.  I am still struggling to take care of myself, making the time is extremely difficult. Mentally I am still blocked in many places, but I am working on it.  I find my strength sometimes gets overshadowed by my past experiences and the pressure I put on myself to be "who I was", but to be honest, I would settle for 1/3rd.

6. I am thankful for escape: creativity. I love to write, but I also love to do other crafty stuff, but I haven't let myself do it yet. I am not sure what is stopping me, but on a regular basis I get this urge to paint. I want to paint all about my experience I want to have a gallery show!!! I want women to be able to feel what I experienced when they look at them, I want it to raise awareness and being a conversation. I want people to see them and do a breast exam. I want to touch a new community with awareness.  I want to paint and write all day and have no other worries.  But there is crap in the way....I can't seem to clear it out. I want to paint, maybe I should look into getting supplies.

7. Lucy: my adorable basset child, she is my sounding board and my foot warmer.  At currently she is our child and my mom's grandchild, our spoiled rotten, hound smelling, child.  She keeps me company when days are tough and is always happy to cuddle.  During treatment I was told to stay away from her because dogs carry germs, etc... but I think she slept on the bed with me everyday--she is lazy and loves it when I am too.  She is a great diversion from tears.

8. Stretch marks & scars: They are my battle wounds, they remind me of what I went through in a very physical sense. They will eventually just be small reminders of my past (when the reality of what I went through slowly fades to the background). They are part of my body, part of this body, this incredible body that fought to live, that almost died to live.  I have went from 220lbs (my highest during treatment, bloaty and full of steroids, I couldn't even put my Crocs on) to 165lbs, but I still have the stretch marks and I still don't have nipples, my breasts still have 3 inch scars across them and my nipples are yet to be found. Scars are sexy.

9. Love: pure honest love that comes from friendships, relationships of all sorts, from a small town where I grew up (Okanogan), love that is so raw you give everything you can to someone in need. Where you put your self aside, and reach out to help. Love that doesn't fade. Love that doesn't have requirements or competition. Love that doesn't know selfishness or measure.

10. I am thankful to just be.

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