At the age of 39, I was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma. I never imaged I would ever have to deal with breast cancer. I have no family history and I have always exercised and ate healthy. Cancer however does not discriminate, it doesn’t care what age or color you are, how much money you have or how popular you are, it is evil and it is devastating!
I knew from the second the results were positive I would have a bilateral mastectomy. For me this was an option and would give me a little more piece of mind. Next was the consult with the plastic surgeon. I knew I wanted to get back to “normal” as best that I could physically.
After all my implant surgeries, I looked at my chest and only saw breast mounds. I had never once thought of nipples! I knew I wanted to look normal and not knowing about 3 dimensional nipple tattooing I decided to have the nipple reconstruction. My plastic surgeon informed me about nipple tattooing, I almost feel out of chair! What? I thought Oh My Gosh, YES! I am going to look just like myself. Then the news came- he had no one to refer me to, not one expert locally. I researched and researched only to find a man states away who is a tattoo artist and does beautiful work but has a long wait period and in a tattoo shop with other tattoo artist. Not something I thought was the right fit for me or other survivors. Going back to my plastic surgeon he informed me that the office nurse had been trained a few times and this was an option or I could wait until we found a specialist. We both had searched but had nothing. I made the appointment with the office nurse and had the procedure, it was awful! I literally was asked what size, choosing from 3 circles and what color, choosing from bubble gum pink, chocolate brown or nude. I couldn’t believe it, here I am at the end of my journey and ready to move on in life away from breast cancer and this is the final hooray? No, absolutely unacceptable!
I walked out of the room that day with a completely new feeling, a feeling that I would train with the best areola tattoo artist in the world and come back to help my fellow survivors. I shared this with my plastic surgeon and he cheered me on to do it! Almost a year later I founded Pink Ink Tattoo LLC.
Tara is truly wonderful! She is a very warm and considerate person. She put my fears to rest. I am amazed at how good I look. I waited almost 13 years to have reconstruction. I finally have peace of mind. I feel whole again. Amanda M.
I know this is my purpose in life and I love being able to help my fellow survivors with their final step in the reconstruction process, helping them feel whole again. I know the answer to “why me” and I feel honored to pay it forward offering post-mastectomy clients exactly what they want and desire, what ever color, size or shape. This is about the finishing touch, feeling like a women again and for some survivors we need that. I now work with multiple plastic surgeons in the Raleigh area and hope to reach as many survivors as I can nationally helping them with their final step in a positive, compassionate way.
Come be inspired by other Raleigh women at Illuminate, Vend Raleigh’s annual conference.
Illuminate is the conference for Raleigh Small Business Women, created for the Mompreneur.