Mastectomy Tattooes

Mastectomy Tattooes

Hello Ladies. I hope you don’t mind me putting out this request here. As those of you who have seen my posts will know, I had a mastectomy tattoo which was finally completed this year. I was contacted by a photographer and journalist who asked me and a couple of others to get involved in a project for the Guardian re going the tattoo route rather than reconstruction etc. I did and am happy that I did. This is going to be published in the new year, however, all the women interviewed and photographed are white and the guardian have asked that if it is possible, in order to represent all races they would appreciate it that if there are any Black and Asian ladies who have also gone this route and would like to take part too it would be fantastic. If anyone wants to know more I can give you the contact details of Kate Peters who is the photographer. I hope that nobody is offended by my request as no offence is meant at all. Here is a photo of my completed work 😀

31 Replies

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  • Lainey66 was the tattoo very painful especially across the scar. It's something I have thought about but imagine it to be painful x

  • Hi Jacks5, I won’t lie it was painful at times, but it all depends on your pain threshold to be honest. I would strongly recommend that you consider getting a small tattoo somewhere first so that you can experience the feeling of having a tattoo before committing to a big piece and it causing you distress. The most uncomfortable place I had a tattoo was on my foot, if you could bare that then you. Could probably bare a chest piece - how big a tattoo are you considering? This piece took over 25 hours of tattooing and was carried out in 4 sittings over 5 months. 3 x 7 hour sittings and 1 x 5hour sitting. Make sure you go to a reputable artist who has experience in tattooing mastectomy sites as the skin is very different. I travelled to the UK for mine to Anna Garvey at Adorn Tattoo in Shrewsbury.

  • Wow, how can something so beautiful, come from having such a nasty disease, you are sooo brave, and an inspiration. Thank you for sharing.xxx

  • Thank you so much Parker1438. It was a decision I made early on when I knew I was facing the mastectomy. It has made looking at myself in the mirror far less difficult than it was after my operation. The morning of my surgery, I looked at myself naked in the mirror. I literally said goodbye to my boobs. After that, when I looked in the mirror, it was that image I always saw and missed terribly. So I stopped looking at myself because, as we will all know here, it was very upsetting. This tattoo has eased that hugely. I know it won’t be everyone’s ‘cup of tea’ but it is my way of dealing with something quite horrific and I love it. My artist was and is amazing. Now at the age of 51, have I stopped getting tattooes? That remains to be seen 😂😂

  • You look so serene and I love your hair style ........your comments have helped me tremendously over the years. With cancer all support is crucial xx

  • Thank you Moseypowell. I am glad to know that I have been of support to you. I have found that this site has provided me with support and friendship over the past couple of years, which has been invaluable. We have to ‘keep on keeping on’ for our own sanity xxx

  • Your tattoos are lovely Lainey xxx

  • Thank you Lorraineam xxx

  • You look great! I had a reconstruction but thought about a mastectomy with tattoo, as only one side and also have psoriasis decided against the latter. One question, did the tattoo hurt?

  • Hi Haven225, thank you 😄 it certainly had its moments 😂😂

  • I thought of having one but chickened out after having the 3 tiny dots I had before radiotherapy

  • Oh Lordy, no then it is definitely not for you. I have to say I didn’t feel a thing when they did my three little dots. I suppose the only way to describe it is like running your body through a sewing machine ha ha ha. Xxx

  • You look so beautiful, I really love your tattoos. I had a small one done on my lower leg when I finished all my treatment to celebrate getting my body back. I was lucky only to need a lumpectomy but nevertheless I hate looking at my body now. All I need to do is find the right artist. And then pluck up the courage!

  • Thank you for your lovely comments CounsellorSue. I can highly recommend Anna Garvey if Adorn Tattoo Studio in Shrewsbury in the UK. If you are here in Ireland, Skin City in Dublin is fantastic for art work but I’m not 100% sure if they cover scar tissue. Their studio is lovely. I hope you find a great artist. If you fancy traveling to Germany Michael Malanowski is fantastic. I guess you have worked out I am tattoo crazy 😜 xxx

  • Do let us know Lainey when this hits the paper. You are are aninspiration to us all and so supportive. I wish you all the best. Caroline xxx

  • Indeed I will thank you so much xx

  • Looks beautiful. I had reconstruction (small size) but have decided against nipples. I would love to do tattoo but I worry about having allergy reaction. Plus I am a big chicken lol. Can't help you out since I am white but wanted to say how beautiful you are.

  • Thank you 😊 xx

  • Lovely person, lovely tattoos, lovely portrait. The coloring goes wonderfully with yours.

    Thank you for increasing awareness that we have options and needs as individual as we are.

  • Thank you so much for your lovely response. There are more options than we are originally made aware of, albeit that we have to sometimes fight for them. My consultant wanted me to consider psychiatric counselling when I declined reconstruction 🤪 You can only imagine my response 😂😂xx

  • I can imagine you telling your Consultant to go somewhere -- to go to a Psychiatrist.

    For some of us, "going flat" is what we need for our Healing.

    Our bodies, our needs, our lives -- so why should our choices be judged by reference to others' different preferences? We define who we are. Each of us defines her own womanhood. Each of us defines her own personhood. All of our choices are worthy of respect.

    My chest looks just like yours, but for mine being undecorated.

    Yours is beautiful.

  • Hi Kewpie. Thank you xx I was really annoyed and I made it totally clear. Lol. I think what has happened here (I’m in Ireland) It has become a nation who sue at the drop of a hat, and I bunk they cover all angles in order that if someone has regrets with their choice they cannot say that they were not proprlerly prepared etc. Even so it is annoying. When I knew Ibwas having a mastectomy, I made the decision there and then that I would adorn my chest with artwork 😂

    Lainey66 xxx

  • Lainey your tattoo is beautiful -truly gorgeous! Thankyou forsharing it with us. It sounds to me like its your consultant who needs the counselling not you! How outrageous of him. Lots of women decide not to have reconstruction. I still keep contact with four buddies who went through bc treatment same time as me. Im the only one who decided on & had reconstruction. Big hugs xx

  • Thank you so much. I am very proud of my tattoo. It has taken a dire experience and turned it on its head xxx

  • Beautiful photo. You look wonderful Lainey. xx

  • Thank you so much Dolbycat. I hope all is well with you. I am awaiting results on an ultrasound that I have had on my forearm where inflammation has been found. Oh the joys... please God it will be inflamed tendons or something due to the meds. Xxx

  • Very beautiful

  • Thank you 😀😀😀

  • You look beautiful 😘

  • Thank you so much 😊I know it’s not everyone’s ‘cup of tea’ but it gave me back a feeling of control in being able to make a decision that had nothing to do with a doctor or consultant and a feeling of strength. Have a lovely, healthy, happy and prosperous New Year ❤️ Lainey66 xxxx

  • I think there is power in making that decision and to be honest, it’s irrelevant what people think! Sod them! You look gorgeous, strong and empowered in your picture! A very happy, healthy, loving and fulfilling New Year to you too ❤️😘 Dolly xxx

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