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Tattooed Nipples

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Rub-On Nipples are temporary areola tattoos that last one to two weeks and are easily removed with rubbing alcohol. They look amazingly similar to three-dimensional permanent areola pigmentation, commonly called nipple tattoos. Embracing Mastectomy provides self-healing topics for post-mastectomy women.

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The Icing on the Cupcake

by Valeri Parker

I have to admit—when I thought about getting nipple tattoos there was a part of me that did not want yet another procedure or yet another doctor, nurse or therapist touching my body!

After a 14-month journey through bilateral mastectomy, chemotherapy, tissue expanders, implant exchange surgery, nipple reconstruction, lymphedema and physical therapy for shoulder tendonitis—I was DONE. The LAST thing I wanted was a two-hour tattoo session with more needles. Yuck!

To my surprise, that two-hour session was pain-free and was actually the best experience of them all. It signified the END of my long journey, and allowed me to verbalize the words, “I am DONE!”

I was not prepared for my reaction when I first saw my tattoos reflected in the full-length mirror. The simple analogy that kept coming to mind was that they were “the icing on the cake.” Cupcake is more appropriate—the icing on the cupcake! Just like the Katy Perry California Gurls cupcakes! (Click the link to chuckle with us, lol.)

“Oh my God, they look real!” I shrieked. “I can’t believe how natural they look. Even the scars are less noticeable because of the focal point of the tattoo!”

And then I began to cry.

I cried as I absorbed and accepted the fact that this was the END of what had been a long, scary road. I remember walking on that road in a fog, but forging ahead—putting one step in front of the other—doing whatever had to be done.

I was determined to win the cancer battle and never allowed myself to get pulled off course by negative energy. I have never been one to feel sorry for myself. Instead, I have focused on the love and support of family and friends.

FAITH and HOPE…“just do it and get on with it” was my mantra.

My approach to the nipple tattoo procedure was different. It was easy to put it off. I was busy, and it was not a medical necessity or a lifesaving mandate.

It was the first ELECTIVE procedure of the reconstructive process. I had the freedom to decide if I wanted to do this for ME!

It would have been a big mistake if I had denied myself this last procedure, and I believe it would be a mistake for any other woman as well. Anyone who has had a mastectomy and reconstruction and thinks nipple tattoos are insignificant…please reconsider.

My tattooed nipples have helped me reconnect with the joy of living. I feel myself again! I feel sexy again!

Have you put off the final steps of your reconstruction? Have you trivialized the steps it would take to feel more complete?


Comment from Maria
Time February 11, 2011 at 9:05 pm

THANK YOU, thank you, thank you…. I am scheduled for nipple reconstr in 2 weeks and was getting cold feet. I am convinced. THANK YOU, thank you, thank you.