Tattoos Empower Survivors to Create Their Own Vision of Breast Cancer

Tattoos Empower Survivors to Create Their Own Vision of Breast Cancer
Breast Cancer Survivor: Jackie O'Grady at P.ink Day Montreal 2016. (Photo by: Kate Fellerath for P.ink). Journey_Toward_Pink_Path_Jessica_Grono Did you know there are 2.6 million breast cancer survivors in the United States alone? More than half of the survivors are left with scars due to mastectomies. Physical appearance has a huge impact on self-esteem in complex ways. We all want to believe we don't care how people think of us, but often that is not the reality. Women want to feel beautiful and we work hard to be beautiful both in diet and exercise. But when we receive a breast cancer diagnosis, we are  concerned about our lives, our families and our physical appearance. After having a biopsy, I had a scar and thought I could live with that scar with no problem. No one likes to have scars, but having my life is more important. Then I received the news that I had breast cancer and needed a lumpectomy. A lumpectomy takes a portion of your breast tissue out leaving your breast with less mass and scars. The scars after a lumpectomy are more noticeable than those from a biopsy. I looked down at myself and wasn't happy with the appearance. Springtime was just around the corner and then summer. As petty as it might sound, all I could think of was tank tops, bikinis and how I would look in my summer dresses. Little did I know that my natural breasts would no longer be a part of me by summer. I needed a mastectomy and had reconstruction competed immediately afterwards. Yes, more sca
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