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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Alive Is Enough

I had plans to post about the great outdoors sisterhood - gals day in the woods that I enjoyed so much Sunday with a dear friend and her daughter - but then Monday sort of went up in flames and Tuesday slipped through my fingers and then I had a writing prompt fall in my lap that changed it all this morning.

The writing prompts are little helpers for us out here in the blogging world - often supplied by some great bloggers networks such as Outdoor Bloggers Network and BlogHer. Very helpful for wishy washy pea brains like me.  Very helpful when no matter what you just cannot think of one more crazy thing to tell the six or seven people who actually read your blog.

BlogHer introduced me to  Just. Be. Enough. - I've mentioned that before here.

Part of all this lack of posting the last week or so is because my brain has been all tied up knots trying to make some life altering decisions. It is October after all - and we're being bombarded with so much damn pink I want to puke. I get it ..I get it.. oh trust me I get it... Breast Cancer is BAD. I AM AWARE - I am so, so , aware right now.

As I explained in a my post Just in Time For October - my post mastectomies reconstruction  that was done 12 years ago needs revised. The implants have gone blooey and blown out like a bald tire on hot day. My chest aches, is misshapen, and my whole left arm feels like a lead weight. But - hey they were saline so it's not life threatening - it's just "a little uncomfortable" .  A little uncomfortable my ass. Typical medical - speak for hurts like hell.

Tomorrow is the big meet with the surgeon day, and by tomorrow I have to decide - put new ones in or no?

Do I want to have the perkiest 50 year old bust line in three counties or do I want to have a long healthy life?

What if the new  ones fail in ten years? Will I be healthy enough to withstand yet another surgery and filleting like a catfish? What if something new and foreign in my body triggers some huge immune system response that causes an MS relapse on top of everything else?

I'm thinking this is a perfect opportunity to "just say no" . My bust line does not define me. It is not who I am. It is not me.

I am enough. I can be enough with out silicone "gummy bears" (who calls an breast implant a gummy bear anyway?) sewn into my chest. Alive  and out running the forests and fields, the woods and water with my dogs is enough. 

Frankly - anyone who would judge me by my bust line or lack thereof  I really don't need in my life nor do I want them.

So at this moment in time - and it's certainly subject to change forty seven more time in the next 24 hours - I'm saying no to slapping gummy bears in my chest and parading around with an absurdly perky bust line for some one my age. 

Because without replacing the failed implants I will be healthy- I will be strong enough, smart enough, beautiful enough, and enjoying my outdoor pursuits  enough.

I will be enough!

~If this too much info, not outdoorsy enough, whatever objection you may have.. take it up with the pink bandits that are shoving breast cancer awareness down our throats at every turn. They've made it impossible for me to keep my mouth shut or forget about all of this.If I could use a shotgun right now I'd have blown my TV and all the damned pink crap to bits twenty minutes into the month of  October !~


  1. Hi Gretchen, I have to start by saying WOW!!!! I am a Team Pink member for A little under 2 years. I wholeheartedly agree with you -- I CHOSE LIFE! I choose a life filled with quality, love and if ever I am in the position to make a choice to insert additives or gummy bears (cute reference by the way) I would certainly be afraid of the risks. Good luck with your decision and I support you either way as you continue your journey to stay alive!

  2. You go g my mom has been in your same spot she also had a leaker choose life before anything else if you get any second looks our comments ill take them for you ha need anything let me know

  3. Gretchen,
    I've told you before you are a strong woman & that I'm so glad you are posting what you are, but this literally made me tear up!  You are so strong, and I'm so glad I can read your blog.  You are the kind of woman we should all aspire to be!  You ARE perfect the way you are!  Only you define you!  I would define you as strong, spirited and compassionate!

  4. You absolutely ARE enough. Whatever you decide, treat your body well -- it'll thank you for the consideration later.  All my best wishes for recovery! (I came here from Just Be Enough.)

  5. You're right, who you are on the inside is more important than how you look on the outside. Go You!

    Thanks for linking up with JBE.

  6. Thank you my Outdoor are indeed a blessing!

  7. Gary that made perfect sense to me :) Bless you and your for all your kindness! I am lucky to have such great folks like you, Diane, and the girls in my life!

  8. Julie - I miss you so - you are always so inspiring and uplifting - I LOVE YOU Jules!

  9. Okay Glynn - now we are even - THAT made me tear up ! Thank you so much for all the thoughts and positive energy - outdoor sisters are THE BEST!

  10. Thank you so much for that vote of confidence! I am feeling great about the decision I made! Thanks for visiting!

  11. Thank you! I am blessed to have so many thoughtful and understanding people in my life! JBE is a fantastic place!

  12. Definitely a personal decision but can be backed up by others helpful experiences--my mother refused both times for reconstructive surgery (second time easier when one is already 'missing':) Both her sisters have had implants that all needed replacing so 'no fun' or guarantees & yes one finally said 'screw this'. You can still have 'gummie bears' but removable in your bras---be any perky size you want!.  Neither decision makes you less YOU....just another uniqueness of Gretchen. I'd give ya a big bear hug with or without gummies:)

  13. It's going to come out sounding all wrong... but your breasts are not even in the top 20, heck 50, things I think of when I describe you.  You are an amazing woman.  Do as you should always do - make it your choice.   
    Love - The Schopp Family

  14. Gretchen -- You being "enough" is more than enough for any of your friends! We can hardly keep up with your creative talents and energy on your bad days. It's OK with us if you don't want Gummy bears in your bra. 

  15. Gretchen,
    Anyone that knows you knows that YOU are enough.  I am so proud of you and so very honored to call you friend.  I love you girl, and I cannot wait to see what you can accomplish when you feel 100% again, and more beautiful than ever....just being YOU and that is truly enough!  ~julie and tim~