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
I posted this blog on fb on August 8, 2015 in response to a woman named Beth Whaanga who posted her mastectomy scars on fb and 100 of her friends, unfriended her…here is what really needs to happen:
As an expert Areola Architect, my specialty is replicating photo-realism areola's and nipples in 3D with permanent ink over the top of mastectomy scars, giving the sexy back, making survivors whole again. When people discover what I do, including close friends and business colleagues, I hear that they are 'offended' by the photos I have on my business card showing what post mastectomy looks like - this is incredible to me. The problem lies with the public opinion over misinformation, lack of education about what it means to have a mastectomy. Breasts are removed sometimes completely, including the removal of the dark color skin that surrounds the nipple, called an areola and the nipples themselves are removed as well! The general population has no idea what survivors are left with after surgeries are done, the horrific scars and sadness the survivor feels over the amputation of the breasts/areola's/nipples. What if this happens to you?
As you can imagine, a woman's psyche is affected negatively after mastectomy, even though she is thrilled to be alive, she is left with constant reminders of the cancer every time she looks at her naked chest in the mirror. After these brave women and men (yes men get breast cancer too) have survived this ordeal, they are treated with horror and shame by their friends - are you kidding me? This topic is NOT to be discussed or viewed in public? Really? Is this the byzantine dark ages or 2015 where every topic in the world is available online?
In my professional opinion, the real face of breast cancer lives on the chest of every survivor (male or female). Going topless in NYC is legal, and yet news coverage blurs out the areola - why has our society deemed the areola - the circle of sin? Why doesn't Dr. Oz discuss and show on tv, the areola and nipple like he does for every other part of the human body? I'd be happy to present my areola paintings on tv and educate everyone about the reality of breasts after mastectomy and what can be done to get them back - easily, quickly (with NO MORE SURGERY) - and so that they last forever. Does anyone have a connection to a tv show, can you hook me up?
Areola tattooing is about education and education is key, education is power! Downplaying this topic hinders survivors growth and any 'friends' who don't want to see it, are not friends at all. And from my experience, since breast cancer is so wide spread, every ONE of the people who unfriended Beth Whaanga knows someone personally who has breast cancer, has had it, or is recently diagnosed.
Its time to grow up America. Why is there shame attached to the anatomical body part that feeds us and keeps us alive as infants? The areola/nipple is shunned because it has been sexualized by our society and religious beliefs that hold no bearing in scientific, basic human anatomy. And here's the kicker: we ALL have them. Everyone of us.
Think about this: the male areola/nipple is identical to the female in every way, there is no difference. We accept the male chest, topless, naked on tv but we shame the female to hide? The female breastmound (the soft, fleshy, breast part) is ok to show on tv, on covers of major magazines, everywhere....but the areola/nipple is not, females only. What the what?
THIS MAKES NO SENSE!
Here's a simple question:
Why do women HAVE breasts with areola's and nipples?
What are they used FOR?
What purpose do they serve?
When America stops sexualizing the female breast, and remembers the true function of the breast and the courage of the survivor who went through hell and lived to tell about it, the public will embrace the reality of the loss and the joy of the recovery. You cant solve a problem until you know what the problem looks like!
Listen to the survivor, look at their scars, ask them if they like the way they look after mastectomy. This is honoring their fight and their win! Survivors have a real chance of discovering their NON-SURGICAL solutions to getting colorful, vibrant areolas and nipples back - for the rest of their lives when they find specialists like cathi.ink.
And btw: my colleague Vinnie Myers and I agree; surgeons and nurses should NOT be doing areola tattooing - they are not trained fine artists! They are not trained in tattooing! They know nothing of light and shadow! They can not produce a believable areola/nipple set as a painting or drawing, yet they're implanting ink into the skin of the survivor using ego alone. They use the wrong needles, temporary ink that fades and disappears, they hurt the patient causing more problems, making a mess that cathi.ink has to fix. The current acceptable process of having a medical professional do tattoos is beyond ludicrous, it is archaic and should not be allowed by law. It is time to give the honor back to the survivor and stop patronizing their desire to have colorful areolas and nipples after mastectomy.
FACT: There is absolutely NO SURGICAL way to attach permanent color to human skin. It never works. Areola cutting surgery looks awful, is too big too small, square, cut in the wrong place and leaves white/pink/purple scars that scream, "LOOK! I have no color on my breasts - just ridiculous cut scars!" Nipple building surgery, nipple reconstruction never works either! I see all sorts of attempts by all sorts of surgeons and every single time the nipple flattens out, fails and does not work. After two or more additional surgeries for the poor mastectomy survivor, they are still left without color and covered in scars, but placated into believing more surgery is the only solution.
Are we really going to stand in judgement over the loss of breasts, because we dont like the way they look after they've been amputated? Do we the public really recommend that survivors keep them covered up, who wants to see that? Really? Is this the most compassion we can muster? Maybe now the conversation can change, since you are now aware of the real story here.
America's aversion to the female breast needs to come out of the closet. It makes no sense other than societal control to keep everyone in the dark about the aftermath of breast cancer & mastectomy. Now is the right time to do more than 'walk for a cause" - accept the facts. Start talking to the survivors you know. They will be so glad you did and you alone can make a difference in their life.
In response to overwhelming need in the Puget Sound area, Washington state, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Canada, cathi.ink is now available for cosmetic breast repair and breast cancer survivors! No matter where you live, its simple to schedule cathi.ink areola procedures via this website. At the home page, follow prompts under START HERE and do #1 - #4, fill out the contact form and I will get back to you at the time you asked me to reach you! Cathi.ink is mobile and ready to give the sexy back to brave mastectomy soldiers the world over. Scheduled appointment times available in New York, Europe, Asia, Australia.