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I am a survivor.

 

Not the innocuous marketing image of a breast cancer patient, bald-smiling-bedecked-in-pink-gazing-hopefully-into-the-future survivor.

 

I am a kick-your-ass-take-no-fucking-prisoners survivor. If I wear pink it's pink leather or pink war paint. I am a mutha-fucking pirate.

 

Think you can put one over on me? Remember, I don't play the game, I set the rules.

 

I am a survivor.

 

I will scratch and claw my way to get to where I need to be, don't let my cute face fool you. Don't ask me to follow ... I'm too busy leading and yeah ... I could totally hold my own in a zombie apocalypse. Flesh-eaters? Bitch please, I've had chemo.

 

I am a survivor.

 

My body has been chopped up, some parts thrown away, others repurposed and stitched back together. Naked, I look like a badass quilt. Those scars are no longer painful, physically or emotionally, they are markers on a map telling my story.

 

I am a survivor!

 

 -JPL

ABOUT JENN

As an artist, Jenn tries to find creativity in every part of her life and everything she does.  She has worked in the fashion industry for more than twenty years and has run her own ceramic company for more than ten years. So when it came to writing her first book, design and creativity were a top priority.  Jenn wanted the book to be a true expression of herself.  Her look, her music, her food and her art.

Jenn likes make-up and cute clothes...and adores shoes.  Just because she was bald didn't mean she was about to abandon her style in favor of 'hospital-girl-chic'.  Uh-uh, wasn't happening. No cancer turbans here. Wearing mascara, lipgloss and fun shoes helped-as did a new found appreciation for hats.  

Jenn has always needed music in her life, specifically, rock music.  As she went through her treatments, certain songs really resonated with her.  If they weren't running through her iPod during chemo, they would run through her stream of consciousness during an MRI or radiation.

Cooking is yet another creative outlet she wasn't about to give up.  Though she didn't eat what she normally ate, her appetite was still there. Jenn understands that many people who go through chemo have no appetite what-so-ever, that didn't really happen to her.  She added just a few favorite recipes that she enjoys both sick and well.  Good food nourishes both body and soul.  



And then there is the clay.  Which Jenn loves. It's messy and organic; peaceful and meditative. Jenn was worried she wouldn't have the energy to work in her studio, but she did-and it was the one thing says she loved to do that gave back.  The painful neuropathy that was a side effect of the chemo lessened tremendously the more she worked on her potters wheel. So Jenn spun pots. Lots of pots!



Jenn was stunned when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had no resources her own age-and she really had a very difficult time processing all of the information that she was being bombarded with.  She read books-lots of books, but most of them were written by women well into their 50's or older. Most had grown children and were either retired, or at a point where they were ready to slow down their careers. Many stated that getting cancer was a gift. Huh? Jenn couldn't identify.  She had little kids, and a career that was just starting to gain some momentum. And getting cancer sucks. Jenn knew she couldn't be the only person out there that felt this way.  She knew there had to be someone, somewhere who was struggling with these same issues.  

Ultimately, she wrote the book that she needed to read.  



© 2012 Jennifer Pellechio Lukowiak

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