It was three years ago that “L’idiot Blog de Chérie” came to be. Initially it was intended to merely be a means with which to keep my inner circle of loved ones abreast of, well, my breasts. Instead of repeating the latest news of my breast cancer a bazillion times on the phone — I figured I’d write it once, everyone could read it and I’d continue to boogie on down the road of roaring back in the face of breast cancer.This blog transformed from a cancer patient update spot to a platform for a survivor to write about living life audaciously.Cue three years later, I’m back to writing about procedural news again. But, this time it’s with euphoric completion news! It was three years ago on October 28th, that the bilateral went down. A year later the near-agonizing reconstruction process began. After that, nipple reconstruction surgery was attempted, only one took, the other flattened to nothing. And then over the span of another year’s time, the now infamous three attempts at tattooing my areolas took place.
Even though I have always emphatically stated, “My sexuality, my sensuality, my worth as a woman does not reside in my boobs. It does, however, reside in my BJ skills!” — There was always a sliver of uncomfortableness about my perky, ample new foobs. On the outside they looked beautiful. Underneath clothing, they were ugly. Just plain ugly.
Underneath, with no nipples or areolas, and an 8″ gash like scars horizontally spanning each breast, they looked un-human, alien like. I’d often catch myself jokingly talking to my reflection in the mirror, in a flat alien drone like voice, “Screw meeting your leader. Provide me young studs and copious amounts of tequila. My species must procreate.”
Three times I went through excruciatingly painful tattooing sessions with my doctor. A year ago we tried one last time, splotchy horror. To my doctor’s credit, he had taken up the tattoo needle because he was tired of fighting against medical loopholes. My state has mandated that anyone performing cosmetic tattoos for breast reconstruction must also hold a nurses license. Stupid. And, insurance refuses to cover the expense of going to a professional tattoo artist. My doctor did the best he could, but insurance refused to pay for my getting “corrective tattooing” done either.
Since the last areola, I’ve brushed off my foobs ‘underneath ugly.’ I marched on with being a good little trooper. But, since I’ve always been starkly honest on this blog — truth be told, the ugliness had begun to slowly erode away at my intimate feminine confidence. I might be beautiful from the inside out, but my breasts would always be physically ugly ‘underneath.’
You know, I can write about all of the horror and ugliness with no tears. Yet, every damn time I start to write about the most poignant moment in my entire waltz through cancer — the most beautiful — my mastectomy scar coverage tattooing made possible by Personal – P.INK ? I break down in tears. It’s why I haven’t been able to write about it immediately upon arriving home.
My lovely tattoo artist, Shannon, owner of Indigo Rose Tattoo Studio, had just completed the outline of the black lotus lace demi-cup bra tattoo on my right breast. She instructed me to stand up, take a look in the mirror. Her sweet gentle voice asked me, “What do you think?”
I turned my head away from her to look into the huge mirror. At first I didn’t recognize my own reflection. I had to do a double take — because the ‘underneath ugly’ was gone. It was gone!
I gasped as I felt a flood of emotions well up from my solar plexus into my throat. Standing there trembling, fighting back a flood of tears, I looked away from the mirror. I turned to Shannon and somehow I managed to joyfully speak through my tears. In a hushed voice I choked out, “It’s not ugly anymore.”Taking in a deep breath, I looked back at my breast’s reflection. Gazing at it in total disbelief I whispered to it, “You’re not ugly anymore!”
The tattoos turned out beautiful! Shannon’s exceptional artistry gifted me gorgeous high-end lingerie. Lingerie that is so artfully fine, if it wasn’t tattooed on? Any lover would be inspired to rip it off within about 3 minutes flat! Except I’ll get to wear it forever. And now, I’m forever freed from seeing any ugly scars.
I still struggle not to cry every time I speak of my tattoos, words that emote from my heart, “These tattoos have changed my life. Gone is the only “ugly” of my entire breast cancer journey. Gone, made possible by the kindness of strangers. I am forever thankful.”
All of this was made possible by, Molly, the survivor who wanted to make it possible for other survivors to feel beautiful again too. I will be indebted to her, her entire team that comprises Personal P.INK, and to Shannon, for this sense of peace and feeling beautiful ‘underneath’ again … for as long as this ‘forever art’ remains on my body, forever.