Tuesday, July 16, 2013

My gloves are on, so bring it on!

Dragonfly with Boxing Gloves Tattoo

Some people write biographies.  I get inked.  In fact, all but a couple of my many tattoos tell a story about my life – like my new Dragonfly with Boxing Gloves, which is still healing.
I’ve mentioned this before, but about 12 years ago I was tagged with the nickname ‘Little Rocky’ (as in Rocky Balboa) by one of my docs because I never give up.  That stuck and I’ve been known as ‘Rocki’ ever since.  Some of my family still call me by my real name, but everyone else calls me Rocki.
As years went by I thought about getting a tattoo with boxing gloves, but never acted on it and got other ones instead.  Plus it had to be just right.  So to help you understand why this tattoo is so very important to me, I will try to sum it up.  Key word “try”.

We all have a history, we all have a story and we all have crappy things that happen to us.  With each and every knock down I took, I eventually got back up.  THAT is what made me the person I am today.  I used to be very reserved, quite, shy, intimidated easily, lacked self-confidence and so on. I’m not like that now.  It’s funny to me… some of the blows were beyond extremely difficult to handle, but each one made me stronger.   Sometimes I wish I could just delete all the crappy memories, but they remain in my mind like a video that you can’t erase.  I think it’s because I need to remember how I got to where I am now.

From my preteen years on up, I experienced devastating and traumatizing life changing events and illnesses.  I won’t name each and every one of them as the list is long and some are sensitive, but will elaborate a little on some.

I had a hysterectomy when I was 29 due to severe medical problems and ended up on hormones, which silently caused another life altering event.

Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS) and Fibromyalgia (Fibro) stole my life.  I lost my health, many friends, my job and basically everything as I knew it.  I spent many years extremely sick, in pain and couldn’t do squat.  Unless you know firsthand of what CFIDS and/or Fibro does to you and your family, or if you’re a caregiver (like my loving and supporting hubby!), then it’s hard to explain how horrible this life robbing crud is, as I call it.  Anyway, I did not want that life so I fought like hell every single day to get my life back and while I was knocked back down more times than I care to count, I didn't give up and finally won!  It’s an altered life that opened up new doors to my amazing new life that I love!  Oh and the crud isn’t gone as there is no cure, but there are good days, weeks, months and years (remission).  I know how to manage it now and while I still fight to keep it behind closed doors, I don’t fight against it when it sneaks out.  This crud taught me many things, but that and how I became healthy again will be another post. 

Melanoma and other skin cancers.  Every six months I put my gloves on in hopes for no more.  Wait, like one of my friends says “Melanomore” – love it!  More about this here.

And then the final straw.  Everything  thus far prepared me for Breast Cancer, my surgery and living happily as a flat chested woman 24/7.  I truly think all that crappy stuff is what made me strong and able to handle it like I did and am doing today.  I am more confident than I have ever been in my entire life.  While this may be hard to understand for some, the short round of breast cancer taught me to appreciate much more about my life.  Another win.

Breast Cancer Awareness Tattoo
The gloves obviously stand for every fight I have ever fought and won, and for possible future fights because I never give up!  The pink is to symbolize us girls.  
So why the dragonfly? We don’t see many of them where I live, only from time to time.  It all started the day of my mammogram:
A dragonfly flew around my head while getting into the car.  I thought cool, a dragonfly must be bringing me good luck!  Then on Saturday before my biopsy while Mark and I were in the pool discussing all the “what if’s”, several dragonflies were hovering over me in the pool.  We thought  that was odd, then looked up the meaning of the dragonfly.  Among some of the meanings, the dragonfly represents change, transformation, adaptability, and living life in the now.  Well alrighty then, dragonflies be gone!  Nope.  The next day we went boating with my brother and family and there were a TON of dragonflies swarming around me.  I asked my brother if this was normal, he said no and that he’s never seen so many like that.  Then there were several more instances with me and the dragonflies right up to when I had my surgery.  I discovered that the dragonfly was protecting and preparing me for the major life altering breast cancer event.
The colors in my dragonfly: blue is for the peace and calmness that I try to keep in my life; green is for balance and wellbeing; yellow is my happy sunshine color.

Connie has put most of the ink on me

I wanted a unique dragonfly design and my tattooist hit the mark.  The idea to have the dragonfly carry the gloves came from three different people, which I love.  The placement by my first melanoma scar was my idea.

Bring it on!

This is how my motto of Never Give Up came about: No matter if it is a goal to reach or one of many obstacles to overcome that life throws at you - with a positive attitude, strength, determination, faith, willpower and the love and support of family and friends, you will get through it - usually with a better outcome.

Peace and love, Rocki


Mark (aka Bullwinkle) said...

In my opinion, no one is more deserving of their nickname than Rocki! She has had to fight more battles in her life than anyone should ever have to endure! And she has endured each and every one of them! While some of her past battles may remind her that they are still around and won't ever "go away," she continues to kick them to the curb and not them get the better of her. I am VERY proud of my Rocki and VERY proud to call her my wife!

Rocki Adams said...

Thank you so much hon! I honestly could not have fought them without you by my side. Thank you for being my very best friend, the love of my life and the most awesome hubby EVER! I love you!

Eve Donaldson said...

You are an inspiration to so many who struggle and fight everyday. You have earned those gloves my sister!!!!!

Rocki Adams said...

Eve - big hugs and thanks to you my friend and sister! Right back at you!

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

You're right. Everyone has a story and the events in it and how we cope with them, react to them and learn from them make us who we are. Some of us fight back...we are the lucky ones. I have so many thoughts on this post and I'm confident that we would agree on most of them if not all.

I'm sure some of the sun in the SW radiates from you.
xx, Carol

Rocki Adams said...

Carol, you always brighten my day :) And I bet you're right on that part, we would agree.

Thank you so very much!