Stained, Tatted, and a Bad Ass

Stained, Tatted, and a Bad Ass
“Bad Ass” probably isn't the first phrase that comes to mind if asked to describe me. If you had to guess what I do for a living, you might venture librarian, English teacher, PTO mom, girl scout troop leader, maybe activity coordinator in an old folks home. It’s not on purpose; I just have that look. But I’m here to tell you that I’m stained and tatted. A Bad Ass. I know tattoos are popular, but thankfully, I just missed their rise to prominence and the pain, expense, and permanence of having ink injected under my flesh for the sake of aesthetics and philosophy. Most of the women I know who are only a few years younger than I am have at least one tattoo. A few of my older friends do, too, but those individuals are rare and usually have some extraordinary story to share about how their body art landed on them. Sometimes it takes a glass of chardonnay for those ladies to confess their saga. For me, getting a tattoo is nothing I planned. And having seven seems like an impossibility. But they are remarkable, and they are another in the chain of miracles that saved my life. After my breast cancer diagnosis, I entered a world of medical innovation that I didn’t realize was out there. In fact, training myself to marvel at this wonderland of science and the amazing people who populate it is one of the coping mechanisms I adopted to get through my experience. Traveling is one of my favorite pastimes, the more exotic, the better. I’ve held babies in dirt shacks in Central America, shopped for spices in the souks of Morocco, and slept on beaches in the south of France. Even when I could barely afford to feed myself, I’ve indulged in the lure of faraway places. Realizing that cancer would put this passion on hold, I decided to look at th
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