Friday, October 19, 2012


     If you are just stopping in, this is the twentieth post in my 31 Day Series:  I Wear Pink.  I was diagnosed with breast cancer on February 18, 2009.   This series is about my journey with breast cancer.  You can find the previous posts here.

Day 20:  Inked

     Our eldest son served in the Navy.  He came home to us, thankfully, with 2 rather large tattoos.  One tattoo on the back of his calf and the other on a shoulder blade.  He is fond of telling his friends that his mother has more tattoo's then he does.  And I do.  I have three.
     I met my next new doctor, the radiologist.  She is a lovely young woman with a delightful smile.  I was encouraged just being with her.  She explained the radiation process and answered my questions.  I was going to have six weeks of radiation.  Monday through Friday I would come in for radiation.  She explained the possible side effects, the process, and the things to do or avoid during the six weeks.  Before I could start radiation I needed to meet John.
     John at radiology was also very kind.  He explained everything one more time.  He had the job to create a form and tattoo me so that the radiation would be delivered to exactly the same place for the six week period.  John set me up in a radiation simulation machine.  I was given one of the glamorous drapes for modesty.   Then I laid on a rolling table like the one that would be used in the radiation room.  I was placed on a big pillow filled with little beads.  I was to lay with my arms supporting my head, then moved into the round doughnut of the machine.  This was to make sure everything fit easily and no elbows would get bumped along the way.  John told me just to rest on the pillow and not try to help him.  He mushed and tucked the beads in the pillow around me.  Then the air was vacuumed out of the pillow.  It became a hard mold form fitted to my body.
     John gave me three tiny, about the size of a freckle, blue tattoos to ensure that when I went for my radiation treatments the machine would be lined up exactly the same way each time.  I rather thought that the tattoo's would be made with some kind of tattoo gun.  Nope.  The tattoo's were made with a drop of ink and a needle stick.  The needle stick felt like a needle stick, not awful and I didn't faint, which for me is pretty good.  These tattoo's are permanent.
     The first tattoo is located on my sternum between my breasts.  This tattoo is the only one I can see.  The thing that bothers me about it, is that it is not centered.   It is off to the left side just a little bit.  How crazy am I?  The other two are on each side of my chest, below my ribs and armpits.
     I had never considered getting a tattoo before.  I just wasn't cool enough for a tattoo.  But now I have three.  They remind me of what is important to me.  They remind me of a battle fought and won.  They remind me to be thankful for every single day. 
 For the Lord shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody. ~Isaiah 51:3
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