Bringing Awareness…One Tattoo At A Time

Last Thursday, I began my physical therapy. I had a consultation with my therapist, and after a long discussion of what would be best for me, my type of surgery, and my recovery, we both decided that Aqua-Therapy (aka Hydro-therapy and pool therapy) would be best for my knee.

I had my first pool appointment last night. I love the pool because I can do the exercises with little pain. I still have very little range of motion in my leg, but for sure, I can move in the pool without screaming. Of course, it meant putting on a bathing suit. I was just about done my exercises, and standing in front of the jets letting them hit my back, and my therapist says, “I love your tattoo…Fought Like a Girl…there must be a meaning behind it…”

So I told her about my story…and my sisters’ stories…and the meaning behind my tattoo…

By the time I had told her our stories, the significance of every part of my tattoo, the colors on the ribbons, the meaning of the flowers…and the words on my back, she had tears in her eyes.

I always feel unworthy when people tell me how brave I’ve been.

Brave.

I don’t feel brave. I feel like I did what I had to do, because I had to do it. I don’t think of that as brave. I think of it as living. I’m not willing to stop that. I have heard a lot of people tell me (including my therapist last night) that they could never put themselves through what I went through. Well, I didn’t think I could either, until I had to. And to be honest, between you and me, you don’t think twice in that situation. You are laying there in bed, post-op, and you have just been told the scariest thing ever…you first thought is not, “Oh, hey, chemo? No…not going to be able to handle that.” You think, “My oncologist has just turned into Captain America, and he’s going to save me from that.”

I sometimes have a twinge of regret about getting my tattoos. It isn’t often…usually I don’t think about it at all, unless my Mom or husband says anything about it. I worry how they will look when I’m in my 70s. And then I have someone ask me about it, and it’s totally different. Anything to bring awareness to this cancer. Anything to make women aware of their bodies, and the symptoms of this cancer.

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