Today at the tender age of 41 I got my first tattoos. Oh how lovely, I hear you say… A delicate butterfly on my ankle? A rose on my wrist? A daisy on my bum? “Love” and “hate” on my knuckles? Nipples???

Nah, nothing as ordinary as that for me! Rather, 3 permanent marks to ensure the radiation machines line up correctly.

I’ve been told they will just look like small blue freckles (they are covered with dressings at the moment so I can’t speak from my own perspective). And apparently I will eventually not even notice them…

So why in the shower this morning did I feel the overwhelming desire to just sob and never stop…..?

I had the tantrum on Friday arguing my point with the radiation planning staff, tattoos VS permanent marker. It didn’t go so well (for me). Somewhere during this conversation I was told I could always have them removed. Great – thanks – why didn’t I think of that? Oh yes, because this will not be paid for by my medical aid and they certainly are not offering to foot the bill! And with all the other scars to ever spend money on removing, I did not expect these to be on the list! Grumpy much, just a tad!

I cannot get my head around WHY I feel so angry about this. After all they will be 3 relatively little marks in the bigger scheme of having boobs removed and reconstructive surgery, drain scars, chemo and even the radiation itself?

Maybe because I feel so railroaded into it! NO choice, not even much of a discussion and certainly no warning by the Dent Doc or anyone else from my medical team. Just a conversation in a Watsapp chat with a friend asking when radiation started. I replied with the fact that I was waiting for my mapping scan, and she said, “oh yes I remember, that’s when you get your tattoos”.??!!!
Say what?

And maybe ‘cos I fought so hard against having the port. To go through all of that and now just be presented with another daily reminder…..A scarlet (Indigo) letter.

I’m having to make a concerted effort to keep things into perspective with a long list of reminders of all the things I should be grateful for, and I KNOW there are so many. I should be more concerned with worrying what the scan may pick up, and believe me I am!

But today as I lay bare chested on the MRI bed – I received my tattoos, one directly on my sternum between my new boobs, and another on the outside of each. I came to the profound conclusion that Cancer sucks!



“I cut an inch off of every straw I see, just to make the world suck a little less.
”  Jarod Kintz


“Because to take away a man’s freedom of choice, even his freedom to make the wrong choice, is to manipulate him as though he were a puppet and not a person.” Madelein L’Engle


“You cannot hinder someone’s free will, that’s the first law of the Universe, no matter what the decision.” E.A. Bucchianeri


“Look,” he said, “the point is there’s no way to be a hundred percent sure about anyone or anything. So you’re left with a choice. Either hope for the best, or just expect the worst.”  If you expect the worst, you’re never disappointed,” I pointed out.
Yeah, but who lives like that?” Sarah Dessen


“Stubbornness” is knowing exactly what you want courageously living by free will; never to be judged or ridiculed.” Michelle Cruz-Rosado


“Never say yes to anything you can’t say no to.” Marty Rubin


“To be truly positive in the eyes of some, you have to risk appearing negative in the eyes of others.” Criss Jami


“Thoughts are like an open ocean, they can either move you forward within its waves, or sink you under deep into its abyss.” Anthony Liccione


4 thoughts on “INKED!

  1. Oh Janine
    that must be terrible – for them to not even understand why this would bother you
    I had forgotten that my dad had tattoos for his radiotherapy for prostate cancer. Must remind my partner that she will need some for her eventual radiotherapy

    blessings x


    • Thank you Alicia – yes, I think you hit the proverbial nail on the head! The lack of understanding why this would potential be an issue for me or anyone else. But I shall pick myself up (tattoos and all), I just need some time I guess. Yes PLEASE prepare her!
      Take care, I hope you are both doing well? x


  2. Not much else to say today, other than cancer definitely sucks! You have every right to feel the way you do – its a hard road and a long journey and the punches keep on coming.

    You’re allowed to have down days and not be ok, you’re allowed to feel sad, to cry, to be angry about the tattoos – because you’re you and its your journey. And while you have those moments, just know that I’m here – and you’re surrounded by people who care and if they could would take on a piece of this journey for you to lighten the load.

    You’re remarkable, because you keep on getting up and moving forward. Today might not have been good, but I know you’ll get up tomorrow – and put on your brave face and tackle the day.
    I’m here and I love you. xxx

    “Sometimes life sucks, and its ok to say it”
    – Anon –

    “Today you are you, that is truer that true. There is no one alive that is youer than you.”
    – Dr Seuss –

    “You were given this life because you were strong enough to live it”
    – Anon –

    “Remember how far you’ve come, not just how far you have to go. You are not where you want to be, but neither are you where you used to be.”
    – Rick Warren –


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