Mastectomy body art: breast cancer survivors get ink
Women who have endured the horror of breast cancer can be physically scarred. Some reclaim their bodies with tattooing.
Tattoo artist David Allen, puts it poetically: “What was clinical became beautiful again… we turned sterile into sensual. We took back control.” He recalls his first client:
“I’ll never forget meeting Adriana and connecting instantly. I wasn’t sure how to be. I knew just a portion of her story and my heart was heavy…Somehow I realized she was taking care of me before I had a chance to do the same. Maybe she sensed my concern, so her response was to allay my nerves. She showed me love and I knew only to do the same.
“How do you help a woman who has fought death? What can you possibly contribute?
“I knew then all I had was my vision, my eye. Years of passion towards one visual goal had me prepared. She was there and vulnerable… ready and willing to trust my view. The weight was incredible, but together we created a work of art. Her scar was concealed, but more importantly, she took back control. I’ll never forget it. What was clinical became beautiful again… we turned sterile into sensual. We took back control.
“There is healing in this.
“It was wonderfully overwhelming. The whole process was stunning. That day I was changed more than she. The process is difficult. It requires trust and vulnerability on both sides. But it’s the most wonderful thing I’ve given myself to… well, besides being a father.”