Words have meaning, and the way you say them also has meaning. I just came from exchanging a pair of shoes I bought Saturday. As we were processing the exchange, the cashier asked me, “Would you like to donate a dollar to breast cancer?” I answered, “No I would not. Breast cancer gets nothing from me. I gave breast cancer my boobs, and that’s all it gets.”


P.Ink Day

Women Finding Beauty in Tragedy: p-ink.org

So, after talking to a tattoo artist, it seems that the design I wanted for nipple tattoos is a bit too intricate for the size I want. I’ve gone back to the drawing board and created something simpler. I haven’t had them done yet, because I haven’t had the money yet. However, a friend shared the above article with me today, and I’m intrigued enough to have emailed p-ink.org to see whether they might have any events happening close enough that I could get to one. In any case, it’s a very cool thing to do, and I wish them much success!

Tattoo or Not Tattoo, Continued

celtic knot for tattoocircle_2inches

The research continues into what is available and what has been done in the area of alternative nipple tattoos. This site (http://www.whitetigertattoo.com/medical/other.html) is one that does excellent work, and is providing me a bit of inspiration. Sadly, they are not in my area. I hope to talk to some more local artists and see if any of them have any expertise in this area.

I did design something that I rather like (see pictures above), just in case I decide to do alternative tattoos, but I’m not sure if it’s too bright. I’ve never had any sort of tattoos, so anything (other than just darkening the “areola” area will be different from what I’m used to. Of course, all of this depends on getting the doctor’s blessing (and the money)…

Tattoo or Not Tattoo? That is the Question…

I have an appointment on the 20th with my plastic surgeon, to discuss having nipple tattoos, among other things. It’s been 3 months since my last visit to him, and at the last one I told him I’d want to see photos of his work to help me make my decision. Most of the redness from the last surgery is gone, and my “nipples” are closer to the same color as the rest of my skin. Eight months after the original surgery, I’ve almost forgotten what my breasts originally looked like. I know the new ones are smaller and perkier (in that they ride higher on my chest than the old ones). They’re still pretty well numb, except for some phantom feelings. At least I assume it’s phantom feeling. They’ll feel itchy, but when I go to scratch, it feels like I’m scratching someone else’s body. The right one, texturally, feels pretty much like a “real” breast, but the left one, the side from which I had so many lymph nodes removed, is still very edemic, hard and swollen and…thick, for lack of a better word. I know from looking at photos of other cancer survivors that I am exceedingly lucky to have such a great surgeon. My breasts look way better than most of the photos I’ve seen, even some who had implants. But, I can’t decide what to do about the nipples.

I had a bit of a notion to have tattoos done, but not the ones from the surgeon–from a tattoo parlor. Celtic knots, or hearts, or something. I’m not certain I’m really That Girl, though. I think part of my indecision is from loneliness. I just ended a “friendship” with an old friend who seemed to want to be more than friends, but all of a sudden decided that his alcoholic, coke-using, abusive ex-girlfriend was a better choice than me. I had all sorts of imaginings going on about him; one being that he might help me decide what to do about the tattoos.

Anyway, here I am, trying to suss this thing out. I’m probably stressing over it a bit more than I should, but those things are FOREVER, dammit. Anybody else going through, or been through, the same dilemma? I’d love to hear your thoughts…

A Startling Realization

A Startling Realization

The story linked above concerns contemplating suicide, which I have NEVER given more than the most passing of thoughts. One, I’m too “cowardly”; two, I could never do that to my family (I’ve had at least one family member who did, and it’s still devastating over 20 years later); and three, I’m one of those people who has to stay to the end of the movie, no matter how bad it is. 🙂 A friend sent the story to me after I told the following tale on Facebook, and it touched me deeply.

Yesterday, I went for a haircut. I have an interview, for a JOB, today, and wanted to look nice for it. I’ve been letting my hair grow, basically because one of my best friends dared me to. It’s been short, REALLY short, for over 10 years and I thought, “Oh, why not? If I don’t like it, I can always cut it off.” But it was at that stage where it looked less like a conscious decision and more like a fashion faux-pas. So, I made an appointment and had it trimmed.

When I walked into the shop and got settled in at my hairdresser’s station, something odd and a little bit wonderful happened. My hairdresser, whom I’ve been going to for 10 years or so, said to me, “You haven’t been in in FOREVER! I was getting worried about you!” The last time I’d been in, apparently, was just before my last surgery, the one where I got new nipples. It was outpatient surgery, not a huge deal (except to the extent that ALL surgery is a big deal), and then I made the decision to let my hair grow. Well, I hadn’t told HER that, and all she knew was that I had surgery and then she didn’t see me for a couple of months. She was concerned, about ME.

I tend to think that I go through life basically invisibly, no one really noticing my passage. But Kelly noticed. She CARED. And she worried about me. That’s a very humbling thing, and it made me realize that maybe I’m more visible than I think. Except for when I become “invisible” for a time. And people notice. Thank you, Kelly, for that revelation.

Under the Red Dress

Under the Red Dress

NOTE: NUDE IMAGES. This article speaks to me, especially, because I’ve had some of the same procedures as Beth. Fortunately, even though I’m on Medicaid, I have one of the best reconstructive surgeons in Kentucky and my scars are not quite as bad as this. But they are there. And they are there for more women than you might think.