I am still a ways off from being tattoo ready. There will be a period of healing after this next surgery. Just yesterday, my husband and I were discussing tattoos of fake nipples vs. some other type of tattoo to cover my scars. Mostly he wants me to feel happy with my body, but I could tell that he was baffled by the idea of some other image on my breasts. I could sense too that he misses those familiar pink areolas looking back at him.
Personally I am not interested in replicating nipples. They would serve as impostors and constant reminders of what was taken from me. Even the best, most realistic tattoo artist couldn’t change the way I feel inside about this. I saw a video today about P.ink Day and it made me tear up. I could so relate to these women. One of the women put it so perfectly when she talked about the fact that she didn’t choose this to happen, she didn’t choose these scars, but she could choose her tattoo. There is something so powerful about transmuting a difficult or negative experience into something you can own, to lift your head up, shoulders back and see yourself in the mirror… really See and Love yourself, and feel beautiful. It doesn’t take ink to do this, but for some it may help the metamorphosis into who you want to be now that your body and life have been forever altered. As they say on the P.ink Day website, “Breast Cancer doesn’t have to leave the last mark”.
I am a professionally trained and certified Life Coach with personal experience overcoming cancer as a mom in my mid-30's. After a diagnosis in 2014 I began blogging as a way to communicate with my family and friends, but it soon became much more than that. Writing was my lifeboat and connection with the outside world while immune compromised and healing from surgery.
Now I’m using my personal and professional experiences and living my dream of supporting others as a Healing Hope Cancer Coach. I help my clients understand their options, develop the best care team and a supportive network. Together we unpack the experience of having a cancer diagnosis, processing the emotional impact of a cancer. I offer stress reduction techniques to help manage fear and uncertainty, and coaching to support healing on all dimensions. After treatment ends, I help people find their personal roadmap through the pain and uncertainty, to a life fueled by clarity, personal strength and a connection to their unique life purpose. From diagnosis, through treatment and recovery, no one should go it alone!
I draw upon 10+ years of work immersed in holistic health and wellness. I was born and raised in the Mid-Hudson Valley of New York and live there still with my husband and son. My survivorship blog Melissashealinghope.com chronicles my healing journey. You can learn more about my work as a coach at MelissaEppardCoaching.com.
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9 thoughts on “Mastectomy Tattoo Options”
You create beauty from any and everything you touch! I imagine whatever you choose will be exquisite!
Thanks love! ❤
And whoever the artist, may they be Worthy! ❤
You’ll know when you’re ready and what’s right for you, Melissa. I found my transformation in Gen “Pistol” Gordon at Guts n’Glory in Rosendale. She did a custom design of cherry blossoms (because I was diagnosed in the spring…and to me they also symbolize rebirth) that trace the lines of my scar. I wrote about it here: http://www.ravishly.com/2015/02/04/wake-my-mastectomy-i-got-tattoo It even gave me the strength to go to a “naked” spa.
I would love to see your tattoo sometime. Cherry Blossoms are meaningful for me too… Or wings or birds… Something organic.
Oh I saw it! Beautiful!! Thank you for sharing your story… I feel emboldened! ❤
I’m so happy I could make you feel that way, Melissa! Thank you so much. This made my Easter morning. It feels like church. I would be happy to show you in person someday. (We live part-time between Kingston & Rosendale.) Part 2 to this story is being able to be “naked with strangers” at a Korean spa, one of my indulgences pre-cancer. I was able to do it again, with a little help from my “Angels.” This piece was in Ravishly and picked up by Huffington Post Woman. I hope I helped: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ravishly/how-i-learned-to-get-naked-with-strangers-again-after-my-mastectomy_b_6733490.html?utm_hp_ref=women&ir=Women
This was a great piece! Happy Easter Cat!
Thank you! Happy Easter to you too!