Seven ladies tell Gem Fletcher why going inked after breast cancer acquired them feel whole again
I discovered a hardening in my breast in 2005, and although my GP wasn’t concerned, he cast me to get it checked out. It was a total collapse when I found out I had stage 2 breast cancer. I moved for the mastectomy, because I thought it gave me a better probability; and I had a reconstruction because I thought it would be less distressing to wake up with two breasts.
In 2012, I had a recurrence in the same breast. All the hard work they had done with the reconstruction had to be taken out, and I had to have radiotherapy. Sometimes you cannot have reconstruction after radiotherapy, because the skin thickens; but fortunately I was fine. There has know a lot of surgery over the past 12 years.
Deciding to have the tattoo done was an empowering act in itself. I worked with Julie from Flaming Gun in Colchester, and she was amazing. It should certainly boosted my confidence; I exactly adore looking at my tattoo and wish I had done it earlier. The repugnance of what really happened to me in those 12 years was written in the scars I discovered every day: me as a survivor, but likewise the surgery, the chemotherapy and the teat reconstruction. Every day I had to face the raw truth of what happened to me in the reflect. Now, my body artwork is something beautiful to look at.
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