I heard the words today
You have breast cancer
I heard the Oncologist say
we need to cut them off
to save your life
I heard amputate my breasts to save my life
I didn't ask
what will they look like when you're done Dr?
I felt to ask was to fly in the face of death
until they were gone
until they had been cut off
my breasts and chest have been cut and pasted so many times now
so much blood, sutures, swelling, pain and healing
over and over to give me back my nipples and some weird white shit areola cut scarred, white, angry
the areolas and nipples are wrong! areolas too big and almost square, nipples are wrong shape and in the wrong place, white and flattening out, what was the point of that surgery - really?
THIS is how I'm going to look for the rest of my life?
You've got to be kidding me
after so many bandages and weeks of healing, even during my work day and I never say anything to anyone about it
no one sees me under my shirt
no one not even me no one not even my husband or boyfriend
I stopped looking after I heard the amputation went well
is to remember
I do not want a man to see me now
I am so glad to be alive
I hate the way I look
the way I feel is even worse
and no one knows
and I would never admit it to anyone
except another survivor
who understands the loss
the disbelief with the trail of scars left behind on my chest
but emotionally ravaged too, raw
To know or not to know
to be ignorant is to be the norm: people don't know what is breast cancer really?
its breast amputation
but America doesn't realize this
because no one talks about breasts in America
looking at breasts in America is considered all sorts of bad (beware NSFW!!) even when its medical
when its breast cancer, still not allowed to show the truth
In print and on TV, the breasts themselves are approved for public view, yes (the soft breast mound, implant shape) but the areola and nipple is BANNED from public view! WHY?
Europe has no problem going topless, why so restrictive USA?
The big secret! Except every living soul has an Areonip set; men and women alike
the absurdity of it all
when I look like this
and no one knows
there are pink ribbons till I'm pink in the face
but no one sees how slashed up my chest is
I wonder if I will ever feel sexy ever again
how could I
my plastic surgeon has done all she can
I look great, she says
all white and blank, missing, obviously, colored areola's and nipples
ragged purple scars stare back at me in the mirror
dont look, I say
turn off the lights
my breasts do not define me as a woman
yet without them my brain and eyes are not happy, not seeing color there at the end of my breasts
there is nothing to imagine here for me
this is the real face of breast cancer right here on my screaming insulted chest
I got nothin left to see that makes me feel sexy
but maybe that's just me?
I got life
the trade off brutal
Today I stumbled in disbelief as I saw the light at the end of the tunnel - right there online in Seattle and New York!
I was thrilled to discover I had reached the Final Mile Ink - I had no idea, who knew?
the cathi.ink Areonip tattoo sang to me like an angel
why hadn't anyone told me of this before?
why tell me only half of the story - amputate my breasts to keep me alive, without saying there is someone who can fix me when they're done?
Give me my color back...with no more surgery? Hell yes! Where do I sign up?
AND its covered by health insurance according to federal law! Amazing, incredible. Thank god.
Why hadn't anyone in the medical community said three words to give me hope and help me smile again?
Final Mile . Ink
If I would have known about the beautiful Areonip in the very beginning of my diagnosis
so many sleepless nights averted
so many thoughts of self-image resurrected during the horrendous process of removal and reconstruction
At least I found the Final Mile Ink now
my survivor girlfriend from Boston who flew to New York for the cathi.ink Areonip told me she too had reached the Final Mile Ink
my hope to look great again was reborn
and so was my female spirit
I flew twice from California to Seattle and got my cathi.ink Areonips on!
and my life has changed for the very best forever.
After two sessions at Final Mile Ink and with expert skill and care that only a fine artist can provide,
I feel whole, happy and sexy again.
I'm turning those lights back on!
I want everyone to see me now.
It was so easy, just the medical version of a tattoo and I was done and gorgeous for life
with permanent ink and master areola and nipple illusions like I've never seen before.
I love how the areonips are anatomically placed correctly on my chest by a world renowned fine artist and painter of people, Cathi Locati - we both worked hard at that! We became artists together and had lots of fun doing it!
People who see my areola/nipple tattoos cant believe what they're looking at -
they think they are real areolas and nipples
but they're just illusions in permanent ink
so convincing I forget what was before,
Seeing my beautiful new colorful breasts helps me forget what I just went through
something I thought I never could do
a little ink goes a very long way
done by a skilled fine artist not a surgeon or nurse who is untrained in the field
Tell everyone, tell them early
I wish I would have known earlier
but glad I know now:)
Testimonial as told to Cathi by April A. 2015