Monday, October 20, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
As AOL begins to close down it's bloggs, my heart is heavy. I am saddened by this turn in events because I feel as if I am losing part of my family. A vital and truly the strongest part of who I am and have become. Without you my dear family in J Land, I would have given up writing and never come back to it. But with your love, encouragement, inspiration and gentle nudges I have found my true voice.
I love each and everyone of you. When I first starTed posting I truly never meant for anything I had to say to be public. By mistake my journal ended up public and thank God it did! Without that little mistake I would have never met Kim. In her strength, I found my own. I miss her everyday. But I know she is still with us as I feel her vitality and hunger for life burn inside my own heart everyday.
I am conflicted as what to do with my journal. I am still a bit torn and so I ask this of all of dear family here in J Land... Would it be easier to stay in touch with all of you if I move things over to Blogger? If so then I will do just that. The very thought of losing any of you breaks my heart.
On a last note I will say that you can keep up with me through email and through www.fightpink.org . A great woman named Stacey has started this organization and I hope to continue to be involved with her by writing for this site time to time.
Take care my dear ones. I love you.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Breast Cancer changes everything. Breast Cancer changes your life, your body and your idea of what is important and what is not. After living 1 year without a breast and another with an implant I can tell you that your choices become complicated. Go forward and complete the transformation or just let it all go? Live without a breast, have what was started removed or just be comfortable in the body that breast cancer has left you with?
Honestly it is not an easy decision. I thought it was when I first lost my breast. At 32 I surely didn't want to live without what God gave me, what made me womanly and what I thought made me beautiful. But after living through the removal of my breast and simply living without hair in a world that measures you by both, I think that I am ok with just one breast. It feels like an eternity since I first started the process of breast reconstruction. Today I am living with a partially reconstructed breast. Money and insurance have been two of my top problems so I have been living with no shape and no nipple. Talk about putting life and vanity into perspective! But then living without hair does that for you too.
Breast reconstruction. Well for some it is the ticket. I thought it was for me too. But now, I am not sure. I am tired of living with a lump that just sits on my chest as if it is squeezing the air right out of me. I have no natural breast tissue left, so yes it hurts and no it does not move. I can feel my implant every waking moment. It just sits there, unmovable without any feeling. After all my nerves were removed, all my tissue and every part of the breast that I lived with since my first training bra is gone. Yes, I lost my breast to this beast, but in doing so I saved my life. I saved what time I have had since then, time I might not have had with my children, with my husband, my parents, family and with those friends that share this life with me . I did it to live, and live I have. Every minute I have had since that day in February 2006 has been a reality only because I gave up my breast. So yes life truly changes in the wake of breast cancer.
Is it easy? No, it is one of the hardest, toughest and most painful decisions a woman can make.Life changes for not just you but for everyone close to you. Life changed for my husband and how he saw me physically. How he touched me, laid next to me and yes even how he saw me. Yet he loved me , needed me and has stayed by my side very step of this journey. He is comfortable with my body, and with my life as a uniboober. But life also changed for my children. My breast was not just a sexual component for my husband but a source of life and a symbol of motherhood to my boys. My youngest was completely devastated when I lost my breast. He wanted mommy's soft breast back again to lay against. Yet now all this time later, with an implant in place, both my boys are comfortable with mommy having just one breast to face the world with. My life changed in more ways than I could even begin to describe here, but mostly I have had to come to terms with not just losing my breast but living without it.
Yes reconstructive surgery is a wonderful thing and for some it is life changing in a positive light. But for me it has not been. I am not comfortable with this foreign silicone residing inside of my chest wall. I have lost my breast and I am ok with that. I am not ashamed of it, nor am I afraid of living without one anymore. True it has taken me a long time to get here and yes it has been a long road up to this point. But I am ready to consider removing this implant and moving forward without what was already taken from me. I am and will always be a woman. I will still be attractive and I will still be Christina. My husband will still love me and my children will still see me as beautiful.
True this beast will always lurk in the shadows, but living without my breast will not change the scars I live with. I have come to terms with those scars, both internally and externally. Life changes, but life is worth the changes if you can be free to live without the beasts chains around your body!
Tags: Breast Cancer
Friday, October 3, 2008
October is here and that means Breast Cancer Awareness Month. So what does that mean to you? Do you put on your pink and think happy thoughts? Do you cry when you watch the ads or turn away tired of the hoopla?
Well, I can say I have seen and heard many different responses over the last 2 and a half years. Some have been inspired while others have been annoyed. But first I would say that before February 2006 I would have just thought to myself that I had time to think about the Cause. All that changed for me when at 32 years old I was diagnosed with TN Breast Cancer. Who would have thought? I sure hadn't. But the truth is this... Breast Cancer knows no boundaries. This disease attacks when you are least expecting it. Breast Cancer is not just a once a year thing, a nice cause wrapped up in a pretty pink ribbon. No, it is a beast, with large pointed teeth and sharp claws!
I wear my pink ribbons and think pink all through the year. But I know that the pretty symbol is just that, a pretty symbol. But Breast Cancer is more than that. The ribbon that represents our cause is just a way to get the world thinking about how deep this beast really goes. How terribly it can rip open your life and your body. Breast Cancer is a nightmare for all affected by it. Think about this: one in eight women will be diagnosed. That means one in eight families will be touched by the burden of the beast. More than One in eight children will have to walk down the many dark roads of this journey and fear the loss of their mothers. Think about all the husbands, mothers, sisters, brothers... now do you get the picture?
That's why I walk. I don't walk to make myself feel better, to raise a bit of money and then walk away. I don't walk because I feel obligated, although I do enjoy the idea of taking something back from the beast's lair. No I walk to fight, to throw a punch in the beasts face and to beat it back! I walk with my children because to do so means that I am still alive, still holding their hands. I walk with my husband beside me and my friends around me because to do so means that I am not just a memory but a living breathing part of their lives still!
Yes I wear pink but honestly I do not just sport my cute pretty pink ribbon just to say look at me. No I wear my pink ribbon proudly on my chest along with a skull and crossbones instead to express the true grasp of what Breast cancer is and can do. I stand in defiance, totally rebellious against this beasts attack! I am a survivor, a fighter and I will not go down without a knock down, drag out, hit him hard fight! Death is absolute in life for you can not have life without it. But I will not stand by idly and let this disease take my soul from me.
So again I ask, what does Breast Cancer Awareness month mean to you? Is it just a pretty pink ribbon all tied up in nice ideas? Or is it a time to run toward the monster, swords in hand and charge at this beast that threatens to devour us all? As for myself? I choose to be a part of the rebellion! I choose to wear my pink ribbon , but I also choose to wear it with my skull and crossbones! I will not give my life away, instead I will fight by my children's sides, and my husband's side, by your side and by my friends side! This year why not choose to fight this beast for the 11 months that follow October!