Each month we a feature the inspirational and transformative Stories of few post-mastectomy cancer survivors and the artists & ink that help change their lives. Please support these Warrior Women by sharing their stories with those you love! It’s all these women ask. And remember- schedule your exams, ladies!
Artist: Shane Wallin
Shop: Garnet Tattoo Studio, San Diego, CA
Here’s Carrie’s Story:
My name is Carrie.
I am a 2 time cancer survivor. I was diagnosed with Hodgskin’s Lymphoma 25 years ago when I was 26 years old and did chemo and radiation to my chest wall.
In 2013 cancer reared its ugly head again in the form of Invasive Ductal Carcinoma aka Breast Cancer. After 4 chemo treatments I endured a double mastectomy with reconstruction. The reconstruction process has several steps, my 1st set of implants were problematic with one implant actually flipping over so they needed to be replaced. The final process of reconstruction is the tattooing of the areola’s which was done in a hospital setting by the plastic surgeon. Give him credit for a try but the areola tattoo that he did was a flat flesh colored circle…no definition!! I thought “this is it? after all that I have been through???” I was extremely disappointed in the results.
In my desperation to feel complete I started to research 3D tattooing and I became hopeful. In my search process I saw the group P.ink (Personal Ink) on Facebook and in looking into what this fabulous program was about I decided to register and see if I could be matched with a tattoo artist who could make them look more realistic for me. I was matched Shane and Toni Wallin who offered to make that possible.
— [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]
In researching Shane’s work I was pleased to see what he has done for Breast Cancer survivors and the tattoo work he has done to help women like me feel beautiful again. I have had the 3D tattooing of the areola’s and I am super pleased at the results, they look so real!! The process was quick and I felt very comfortable with Shane and his professionalism.
Shane drew up a beautiful floral “bra” for me and the results are fabulous, the color and design are such that I am able to admire myself again and be reminded that something beautiful can come after so much pain, fear and anxiety.
Shane and Toni make the setting so warm and comforting, Shane truly has compassion and understanding of what breast cancer does to one’s self esteem and can turn something so ugly into a beautiful piece of artwork that can be admired and inspiring to others!!
I don’t think people understand the need that women who have their breasts removed to feel beautiful again….this tattoo process is a fabulous tool to help us feel whole again.
So a HUGE thank you to all that have made this process possible….once again I feel beautiful and complete and where I was ashamed to show what my reconstructed breasts looked like I proudly “flash” my beautiful artwork!!! The shock factor is fun too….lol
Be Well!! Carrie Evans[divider][divider]
— 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!
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