Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Hallmark, Which Year is the Tattoo Aniversary????

My youngest sister Mary, aka LoolyLouise, reminded me it is her 8th anniversary since her breast cancer surgery. A successful surgery that left her cancer free and allows her to remain the sunshine of our lives.

Mary thought ahead very optimistically about how she wanted to celebrate her 5th cancer free anniversary. She decided that a tattoo is the only way to go for the big, meaningful events in one's life. I happened to be visiting with her one day during year three. We had already amused ourselves with tea at the Windsor Rose, and shopping in the wealth of wonderful stores in Mt. Dora. During a short breather she asked what we should do next. I said "We have about 4 hours - how 'bout that tattoo? Why wait? Soooo we found a place that said they were licensed and clean, Feelin Lucky Tattoo, and since we believe everything we read we were on our way. Mary's friend, Mary2 met us there grinning and dancing through the parking lot. We browsed around for just the right tattoo Mary decided on a bee (left shoulder blade), I chose a quarter moon with ivy tendrils (bosom) and Mary2 decided on a little sprig of blueberries (hinie). We were not intimidated by the bikers, the people with pierced everythings, the gun molls or the tattoo artist who's T-Shirt said "I !*&)$#'d Your Sister".

Later, over a glass of wine (for medicinal purposes) we called oldest bro Joe and let him be the first to know. He was SOooo excited - he usually finds things out 7 years after the fact - he was going to a family outing the next day and would be able to be the one to tell our relatives what his otherwise sensible, mature, church going sisters (well, Mary is anyway) were up to. We imagined him the morning of the party, up at the crack of dawn, teeth brushed, hair slicked down, shoes polished, sitting on the front steps with a sippy cup in one hand and travel Bingo in the other waiting for Katha, his wife, to bring the car around.

We've since gotten a 2nd tattoo with my friend Sue. That was another trip to remember - there was a hurricane hot on our trail, no gas stations open because of 2 other recent hurricanes and armies of linemen repairing wires along the way. Mary took a china plate along. She
had "I !*&)#'d Your Sister" surround her bee tattoo with fragile pink roses. She got her roses, I chose another quarter moon with an orchid on it (right foot (ouch!)) and Sue had a shell and a heart applied to her hiney. A fun time for all!

Soooo, back to Mary and her 8th anniversary! How she got breast cancer, I'll never know. She's practically boobless to begin with ( she is tall and manages to maintain a skinny figure I can only dream about, but I love her anyway). (She said I could say that, sister Janet, so don't be callin' her) When Mary goes for her annual mammy-o- gram she has to start squeezing at her ankles to get together enough breast tissue to be smashed between the two frozen pexiglass plates.


Why does the technician tell you not to breathe while she runs across the hall to her protective room to take pictures. Can anyone breathe under these circumstances? I can't! The two good things that come of this experience are the fun superman cape you get to wear and the knowledge that either all is well - or all is not, but it can be fixed.

Mary did it! She handled her surgery, chemo and radiation with grace, style, lots of faith and a sense of humor that is admired by everyone who knows her. She has been very involved with the Walk For Life and with sharing her experience with others who are facing the same scary adventure. She asked that I remind all of you to be sure and get your boobies mashed and don't forget to do the self-breast exam every month! Think Pink! Get a tattoo if you feel like it.
Thank you for stopping by! Always good to see you!


loolylouise said...

It is I, the Mary referred to in this blog, the one who has to gather enough breast tissue for a mammo by starting at my ankles and working it all up like adjusting a pair of stockings. I am alive and well after 8 - count 'em - EIGHT years!!! It can be done, girls. You can be given the worst news of your life and still have life to live! I'm proof! Get your mammos - and don't let me hear "It hurts!!!" I have a giant scar that has been compressed 50 or so times and I can take it - do your exams and listen to your inner voice. Pray alot. Trust in God. Then, go shopping. It's what I do. Get a tattoo, if so moved. With friends. Life is grand!! Live it...

MuseSwings said...

Beautiful! Well said! Love you Mary!

Lavinia Ladyslipper said...

Wow...the lighter side of....cancer?

Your sense of humour shines through....you sound like very intrepid sisters....I'm glad you got out of that tattoo parlour without being shot stabbed or nabbed in a police sting. Tee hee!

Here's to 8 and 88 more healthy years for your sister....she was put through the wringer and she emerged victorious....good for her!!!