Why I wanted to get my breasts tattooed By Juanita Williams, Survivor
Hi. I would like to first tell you a little about myself. I am a Sagittarius. I have four loving children that I raised as a single mother with the help of my family. When I first found out I had breast cancer I was only 25 years old and pregnant with my third child, Katie. My (ex) husband was the one that found the lump in my left breast. He was good for something, a lump finder.
I quickly made a doctors appointment. At first my doctor told me because I was pregnant that it could be one of my milk ducts. To make a long story short, I found out that it was actually breast cancer. I was 7 months pregnant. I ended up having to have a mastectomy on my left breast. I gave birth to my daughter a month early, due to the stress after surgery. She weighed only 4lb 6oz. That was in July of 1987. I had my breast reconstructed. Thank you Jesus I did not have to go through chemo or radiation. It was in stage 2. I survived that experience.
24 years later, in 2010, I was examining my right breast and I felt a lump. Back to the doctor praying that it wasn’t breast cancer. It was. I had another mastectomy. In this case I did need to have chemo. That was one of the hardest times in my life. Chemo kicked my butt. They tell you the side effects when you do chemo, go figure that I ended up with most of them. I survived breast cancer for the second time. Cancer did not defeat me, I defeated cancer. “I am a survivor, hear me roar!”
I am getting a tattoo of angel wings for all my sisters who died from breast cancer, and I mean all nationalities!! Because cancer doesn’t discriminate. Another reason is to cover the scars into a masterpiece of beauty. I try to remind any women I come in contact with to make sure to do their monthly self check and yearly mammograms. I am grateful that I found Shane [Wallin, artist] and his wife, Toni. They made me feel comfortable in their shop. After several sessions, now my tattoo is done and I. have. my. wings!
There is beauty after breast cancer and I say to myself what a wonderful world, to have caring people like Shane and Toni. Shane is a great artist, he gave me hope for beauty again. I was lucky enough, also, to have a photo shoot with a great photographer named Wander Aguiar. He and his team, Christina, make up artist and a wardrobe stylist, Michelle. I’d just like to say thank you to each one of them. All breast cancer survivors in the world . This is for you- love you . TO all my sisters who lost their lives, you are the wind beneath my wings.
Love you, Juanita Williams.
— [button color=”pink” size=”medium” link=”http://tattooartistmagazineblog.com/2015/09/09/p-ink-day-2015-announcing-cities-artists-for-survivors-of-breast-cancer/” target=”blank” ]P.Ink Day is Oct.10 — READ MORE HERE[/button]
— This is a tattoo topic that matters. Real artists making a real difference in peoples’ lives through the power of ink in skin. The stories of these courageous women are meaningful and moving. Courageous first in battling and surviving cancer, then in mustering the confidence to take their lives and bodies back, reclaiming dignity in a rather unconventional way– through their new tattoos, and also showing courage by sharing their experiences with TAM and our readers; all they ask is that we share their stories with friends, family, and anyone who might benefit from hearing Stories of HOPE!
The artist responsible for Juanita’s tattoo, Shane Wallin, can be found at Garnet Tattoo in San Diego, California.