Welcome to the Chaos

You have stumbled upon the new blog (i.e. random babblings) of a quirky single mom. A shoot-from-the-hip, anti-pink (yet almost gaggingly perky), non-traditional, can cuss like a sailor but loves insanely and has the save the world syndrome gal who is bracing for a future as a Crazy Cat Lady though she secretly hopes like hell it doesn't come true. Enjoy your stay and feel free to say hi- I don't bite. Well, unless we're dating and you are into that type of thing or you contain peanut butter. >;-)

About Me

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Quirky single mom of two monkeys. I used to beat up the kids that picked on the "special students" during recess. Now I work with those with chronic mental illness. I speak quite a few languages, enjoy coed naked underwater basket weaving, have an addiction to Sushi and humor is my defense mechanism. Arrogant people make my right eye twitch. I'm ambidextrously brained, I will knit for tattoos, I am the friend that everyone comes to for advice and bail money. I pride myself on keeping my eyes, ears, heart and mind open. Making me laugh goes a long way with me, I think the brain is the sexiest organ and I'm the kinda gal you can take anywhere and I'll have a good time. Other than that, I'm just me.

Followers

Yup, I’ve got boobies

They say every family has a black sheep. Well, my aunt Carol was the rainbow colored one. To me she will not only always be my favorite aunt, but one of the best female role models I had and will ever have. Aunt Carol redefined original. You can walk to the beat of your own drum, she had her own five piece band. If Lucille Ball, Betty Page and Audrey Hepburn had a lovechild, maybe, just maybe, you could come kind of close. Funny as hell, yet equally graceful. Ladylike manners when she was telling someone to go to hell (and believe me they had it coming). Dancing forward through life bold and brave, yet always thinking of others first.

She was the oldest of five siblings in a household that saw many rough times. My grandfather died young, barely in his 50’s at the time thanks to the working conditions he was in day in and day out. No matter how bad things were, she always made sure all of her brothers and sisters had a present beneath the tree on Christmas morning and every lovingly wrapped present was from “Santa.” Oh how she loved Christmas. Trips to her house in Minneapolis were my favorite times ever growing up. Second only to their trips down here. Trips, I am very grateful to say, that happened pretty frequently.

Aunt Carol was also my very first official Partner in Crime. Many of you know that I inappropriately grope my coffee mug every morning. What you don’t know is how deep my love of coffee goes. Ever since I can remember, I have loved it. I would bug my parents incessantly when I was little for some. As it would “stunt my growth,” it was off limits. Bless Dannon’s heart though, they made a coffee yogurt that my parents would get me. When we visited aunt Carol, she would sneak it to me. She was so slick about it too. When she made me hot cocoa, she’d use coffee instead of water. We called them “Cocoa Mochoas” and they were our little secret. They were so delish. That’s right, screw you Starbucks. I still make them for myself during the winter. And it still brings tears to my eyes on the first sip.

I have a million great aunt Carol stories. But damn it, I should have a million more. My monkeys should have their own arsenal of great aunt Carol stories forming. OMG she would so love them. And she would so be their favorite. But, Cancer felt otherwise. Fuck you very much Cancer. I swear one day you will wreak the just desserts you deserve. If only it were a person we could torture for decades day in and day out.

It was roughly the late 80’s when she was first diagnosed with Breast Cancer. A time when little was really known about it and old people whispered “Cancer” as though anything louder would summon it like a beast from the deepest bowels of Hades. No one wants to wake that beast. Doctor’s didn’t really do mastectomies. Radiation and chemotherapy were their sole weapons of choice. “It’s not the Cancer that kills you, it’s the treatment” we’d hear over and over. WTF does that mean?? Then why do it?? She beat it over and over again. A tumor would pop up and she’d ride it out until it was gone. Then I guess it got really pissed. It came back with a vengeance and it spread. At one time she had a brain tumor the size of a golf ball on her brain. Oh the grin on her face when she looked back at the baffled doctors when she lived through the treatment for that one and it had completely disappeared. Eventually, the beast decided to devour her entire body at once. No holds barred, spitting in the face of all the prayers and hopes for recovery. The last 3 1/2 months or so of her life, my mother lived there so she could take care of her. Every Friday after school, my dad and I would make the somber trip up. Every Sunday, the dreaded ride home. No matter how bad she felt,, even when she was down to 84 lbs and you could SEE the tumors all over as she lay in her hospital bed, aunt Carol was always smiling. She never once complained, never once screamed “why me?!?” and she always asked how you were doing right at first sight.. Not out of a point of formality, but because she truly cared.

I was 15 when she was taken from us. Her funeral is still vividly etched in my mind. I sat paralyzed at the back of the funeral home at her wake, praying repeatedly that it was just a nightmare and I’d wake up any minute in my own bed, back in Wisconsin. That is until I noticed my grandma alone in her own little corner with the same desperate look on her face. My ever constant personification of strength sat there looking so small and fragile. Like the weathered depiction of heartbreak. It pained me to hear her “no” when I asked her if she’d gone up yet. Everyone was so busy surfing their own overwhelming tide of pain that she got lost in the proverbial shuffle. So, I took a deep breath, grabbed her hand and up we went. Our slow and heavy stride in unison, the closer we got, the tighter our grip to each other. When we got there, both of our breaths were held as we looked down at our own version of an angel knowing each other well enough to know that we wouldn’t be uttering the typical “they did a really nice job on her” or “she looks peaceful” bullshit. Nope. We were both thinking “ fuck you, I want her back.” There is only so much heartbreak even the strongest of people can bear and grandma, though tough as nails, was no different. She lost it. Yup, grandma literally tried to climb into the casket with her. I thought she was just going to hug her goodbye. I should have known better before I saw her little leg hike up over the top of the casket. It’s ok, you can laugh at the image. I can giggle a bit about it now. Knowing I was about to get my ass kicked, I proceeded to pull grandma up off of aunt Carol and the casket. I swear to you she was laughing her ass off up in heaven looking down at the scene. Everyone else stood there dumbfounded. It didn’t sink in until I had struggled/dragged grandma half way to the exit door of the funeral home and by then she was in no mood to be coddled by them. I am proud to say I had the sense to grab her purse on the way out and not just for the possible need for self defense should she try to turn and make a run for the casket again. When we got outside, I shoved a cigarette in her mouth, lit it, did the same (not many can say they smoked their first cigarette with their grandma nor that it was a Pall Mall straight) and said “go ahead and hit me for saying it, but someday, this is all going to be ok. It’s going to hurt like a son of a bitch and that pain will never really go away, but it will be ok.” She took a long deep drag, looked at me and said “You’re right, I do wanna punch you and it does hurt like hell. But, no one loves you more than I do. Thank you Carol Ann.” For months she would repeatedly call me Carol Ann. For years after she would still slip and do it on occasion. You know what, it was the best compliment I have received. That I will ever receive.

So, yesterday I stumbled upon @boobiewed on Twitter. I always support Breast Cancer awareness and the fight to end it day in and day out. This is our month though. What @shimmer418 and @honey_is_evil are doing is amazing, brave and yes, fun. Above all, I found it very liberating. The goal is to show your breasts on Wednesdays across Twitter to raise awareness for Breast Cancer. I’ve seen people bare their breasts for awareness before, but I have never had the courage to do it. I’ve had issues with mine for the better part of my life now. I showed up to fifth grade sporting a b cup on my (then) little frame. My maiden name ends in witz which was changed to “tits” for that whole year. And the damn things just kept growing. Teen years with a D cup was rough. By the time they hit DD, they had turned into an entity of their own to some respects. No matter how hard I tried to hide them, they were ogled. Older people would talk to me like I was stupid because I had big breasts. I know, it’s like the size 4 friend we all have that likes to complain about being fat while we all want to smack the shit out of her. It’s really not my intent. And in all honesty, I don’t have the right. My point is that I’ve got some body issues going on, which every one of us does whether we admit it or not on some level. My tatas just happen to be one of the biggest catalysts for that. No pun intended there. Even though I’ve come to terms with them in some aspects, I still always hide them. Until yesterday. I thought about it, thought about aunt Carol and my grandma and lifted my shirt, snapped a pic and plastered my polka dot bra proudly all over my lil corner of Twitter. And, I will continue to do so. Hell, I submitted it to the @boobiethon today.

I am sure I speak for all those involved when I say that if just one person learns to do regular self exams, one person learns they may be at risk, one person learns about early detection, then by god it is more than worth it. There are some of my sisters out there that have battled Breast Cancer and won that don’t have the luxury of bitching about breast size any longer. They are merely thankful to be alive. So, for them, for my aunt Carol (who was the polka dot bra in the drawer of life), my monkeys and for every woman out there I say “Yup, I have boobies. I am proud of them, I vow to examine them regularly and to remind every woman in my life to be proud of theirs and do the same.”

Please take the time to follow: @boobiewed, @shimmer418, @honey_is_evil and @boobiethon.

Please take the time to visit:

The Official BoobieWed Page

The Official Boobiethon Page

And, pretty please with bra whose underwire never pops out on top, check your breasts monthly, encourage the women and men (yes boys, while you cannot live the dream of staying home and fondling them all day, you are able to get it as well, though much more rare) in your lives to do the same. Get involved, help raise awareness and show us your tatas!



*Please feel free to e-mail me at JustNatali@gmail.com with any links or tweeps you would like added to my next post which will be a resource of information regarding Breast Cancer. Give me your touching, your funny, your painful, your medical, whatever you would like. I welcome them all. Hell, I’m even going to post a pattern on how to knit a breast. Seriously. One survivor uses them for implants in her bras. I would LOVE to start a group that knits them for survivors, so if you are interested in that, shoot me an e-mail too.

15 comments:

Cindy O said...

You got chutzpuh, girl! Well, that and a set of knockers to go with! I'm now inspired to put on my nicest bra and take a picture of my ta ta's to post, too! Thank you for the great heartfelt story.

UberDorkGirlie said...

Thank you dear! Get down with your ta ta wielding self! Part of me was all "I wish I had on a prettier bra" but, the polka dots are rather fitting :) And you are very, very welcome. Thank YOU for reading it! :)

Terilynn said...

This was a beautiful post and helps me remember those who, like your aunt live for life's sake!

LilPecan said...

I appreciate the concept and laud anything that draws attention to this horrid disease. My only concern is for women who have had a mastectomy. Not everyone is capable of getting reconstruction or opts to go through more surgery, especially elective surgery. Is subjecting them to pictures of healthy breasts necessary to bring attention to this scourge? I'd like to see more breast cancer awareness articles concentrate on the importance of screening & self examination to prevent the cancer itself and not fueled by the desire to keep our boobies.
That said, thank you for writing about this and for sharing your Aunt Carol with us. She lives on through you and your words.

UberDorkGirlie said...

Lil Pecan-I truly appreciate your honesty and candor. My next post will indeed cover the importance of screening to prevent it. I assure you my motive behind joining this particular campaign (and I don't believe I am even close to being alone in this) is to raise awareness of the disease in general, the need for funding for research for a cure and the need for education to prevent and detect early, not solely to keep my boobies. I do apologize if it comes across as otherwise.

I can only imagine how difficult it is for some who have lost their breast(s) to this heinous disease to repeatedly view pictures of healthy breasts in conjunction with a campaign for that which they lost theirs to. I have thought about that aspect. Part of me feels that breasts are everywhere in our media now and are such in a manner that has reduced them on some level as merely a sexual entity. We sometimes forget they exist on our bodies as a way to nourish offspring. Even then, there are some that cannot have children or can but then cannot breastfeed. If seeing them in this light, for this cause, will then trigger the reminder to pass along information regarding Breast Cancer or to do a self exam the next time they see them in an ad or movie or some billboard on the freeway, then mission is accomplished. Alas, this may be a double-edged sword. But, it is a sword in the fight nonetheless. One with noble intentions. :)

Dan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dan said...

I do not know why the good Lord saw fit to curse the female population of this earth with "Breast Cancer". I do know that you will make sure everybody who has a pair will be reminded that they need to check em once in a while. Aunt Carol will live forever through you. You have a gift and the incessant drive the Lord gave a pit bull. I have no doubt that we have not heard the last of this great inspiration for you. Long live the boobies! Can't wait for next Wednesday! Thanks Nat!

Hemp Bath Blog said...

I can not wait until next Wednesday! ♥

Thank you so much for this post. I sat at my computer, tears running down my face, the entire time. Your way with words is stunning. Really. And unbelievably powerful.

My grandma had breast cancer, aunt had ovarian cancer and my other aunt had cervical cancer. All nearly fatal, and none of them walked away without some serious battle wounds. Early prevention in KEY and I am very very excited to get involved with what is going down with Boobiethon. Thank you so much for the information and the links.

Also, thank you again for sharing your story. ♥

Sabalo said...

I'd just like to note that you inspired my wife and her friend to snap pics too. Congrats!

Media Child said...

Sister, You had me both laughing and tearing up. No snot coming out of my nose though. That happens sometimes then I have to clean the keyboard...bummer!

Cancer sucks is an understatement. My mom was my "Aunt Carol". Both she and my father died from this lovely disease. No, I didn't have to pull anyone out of the casket but I probably should have dropped myself in the way life's been going since then.

Keep making me laugh, smile & occasionally shoot snot all over my keyboard.

jules
@jujuburd

TentCamper said...

Thought I'd drop by to check out your boobs...but I found a great blog!!!!

I loved this post and it brought back many old memories for me too. Thanks for that.

By the way...I can make myself available for any women who need help with their breast exams...I believe that I am somewhat of a master!

The Absence of Alternatives said...

I'm very sorry for your loss. And I've come to know you as an angel with a brave soul. A fighting, comforting angel. With large white wings. And now with gorgeous boobies too. Even more awesome.

Coachdad said...

What a great post! Your Aunt Carol is an inspiration for us all.

yoga ninja mama said...

your aunt carol was a badass <3.

this post filled my heart up with all kinds of emotion.

ten years ago, my mom was diagnosed with cancer for the first time. it was breast cancer, and she ended up having a double mastectomy as well as going through chemo and radiation.

it was hell, to say the least. there are no words to describe those long months.

she was in remission for ten years following all of the treatment, and just this year she was diagnosed with bone cancer.

i'm still not sure how to process the fact that her cancer is back. and it's been months since we found out. but i can't wrap my head around it. maybe i'm trying to ignore it.

fuck, i don't know. i sound confused, huh? well, i am :). but there is beauty in confusion and we always find our way to the clarity on the other side.

oh fuck, i'm rambling. imagine that!

what i wanted to say was, you write beautifully, and you really brought your aunt carol to life in this post. i saw her in vivid color.

and i think she's probably pretty bloody proud of you.

bullettheblue said...

(bullettheblue = cochondinde on twitter)

My mother-in-law is a 3-year survivor of breast cancer. I've known few other people who have had this nasty disease, but I've known people with other cancers; my favorite aunt was just diagnosed with thyroid cancer, my dad just had basal cell carcinoma (skin cancer) removed, both in the last two months. I've had my own scare with breast cancer (it turns out I'm just "diffusely lumpy" to begin with, so it would be harder to detect),but I was fortunate in that it turned out it was just breast tissue that expands and contracts with my monthly cycle.

And your description of your development parallels mine, though I just now got to the DD stage and I haven't had any chillins. I'm just genetically blessed, or cursed, however you want to look at it.

Ladies, do your self-exams. If you're within the guidelines, make sure you get your mammograms. Men, too, check your chesticles as well as your testicles--I had a male friend who found a lump in *his* breast. Women get all the attention, but men can get breast cancer, too.

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