|Always cooking, ALWAYS! She literally smelled like garlic|
My dad's mom had stupid dumb breast cancer when I was like 5. It really is the first memory I have as a child. My mother died when I was 1 (that’s another post, well maybe someday) and my Grandma Jennie helped take care of us. Now I am not one to sugar coat anything so while she LOVED me that wasn’t the case for my siblings and some cousins. Grandma Jennie had a hard side and if you messed with her you were done. She actually didn’t even let some of them in her house, yet I slept over all the time. Sure she was tough on them, I am sure they were rotten in some way. But this is about me so we won’t go into that! I however, was her princess and she spoiled me rotten, so I am not complaining. She did have a moth like a truck driver. When asked what was for dinner she would reply “Shit and Piss now go play”. And you wonder where I get my mouth?!
She was the typical Italian Grandma always cooking and cleaning and I was her helper. I learned how to cook and clean through her very meticulous ways. I played bingo with her, went to get her hair done, we watched EVERY soap opera on TV, played Gin Rummy like crazy and I just loved being around her. Then all of a sudden the word “cancer” was in our vocabulary. I don’t remember much and what I do it vague. I remember waiting in the waiting room for her to come out of surgery. My dad, uncles, aunts and a few cousins come into my memory. I know I couldn’t go see her because of my age and I waved to her from the window, I do remember missing her so much. Then she was out and doing well. I have no memory of chemo or radiation but remember her having to stretch her arm up the wall, which I am doing now.
|I love this one!|
What I vividly remember is this…..I slept at her house weekly and we would come home from bingo and get into bed and watch Johnny Carson! She had a pink silk night cap and silk pillow to keep her hair from messing up. I loved to sleep on that pillow so much. She would take her bra off in front of me and that’s when I saw it. Grandma Jennie had one breast; the other was prosthesis in a pocket of her bra. Her shoulder had an indent because the bra was so heavy. I hated the way her shoulder mark was. Honestly what I loved to do was wear the bra! Sometimes I would put the fake boob on my head and walk without it falling. What a whacko I was?
Then there was the scar. She let me run my finger across it, not in a fun way but because I needed to see she was ok. I asked her over and over through the years “Did it hurt?” “Are you sad?” she never gave me a real answer. Always, “no big deal” or “sad, I don’t have time to be sad” sometimes “have a meatball”.
As I take all the steps involved through this stupid dumb breast cancer, I wonder what went through her head and how she really felt. We didn’t talk about it but it wasn’t hidden in our family either. I remember everyone being worried and helping every way they can but it still makes me wonder how she really felt.
|My HS graduation with my Grandma Dunni, we will blog about her later|
I have been grappling lately with my choice to get implants. I really hate these foreign fucking things. I hate the fakeness of them, how they feel and especially how cold they are “Like a corpse” my girlfriend said great friend right? LOL!! Maybe I should have not done reconstruction, but the choice has been made and I need to find a way to be accepting of these boobs.
I wonder if Grandma Jennie just accepted this and moved on. I have this feeling she did. I never heard her complain or say "Why me?". Whatever the case is I am proud of her bravery. She did not fall even back when breast cancer was scarier than it is now. She was a strong women and a force to be reckoned with, her bad side was not a good side to be on. Rock on Grammie thanks for leading the way for me, I am sure you had no idea where it would take me! I know she sent me crazy love along with my Grandma Dunni, my mother and my friend Lisa. It is good to have loved ones in high places, literally:)