After the third time of having breast cancer you wonder what else is in store and should I really be here… who lasts 3 times… this is part of my journey, there are many, many other stories but this one worth sharing to give hope and lighten up around the subject, let it go and allow the journey to continue…
In March 2017 I started a bed and breakfast, Eumundi Mountain Retreat, in the 47 acre homestead property I bought in 2004 just after having breast cancer a second time. A place to connect with nature, raise my daughter, focus on health and wellbeing and step out of the corporate life a bit.
Around this time I also was offered to put a colour in my hair to raise money for breast cancer. The pink bit is now a part of me and I keep this colour permanently to remind me of the gift of cancer because without it I would never be the person I am today and have the love in my life to this extreme. I appreciate every day and every moment and everyone who comes into my life.
Starting the bed and breakfast was one of the best things I have done. The amazing guests are such a blessing to meet and one amazing couple that stayed was David who is a dance teacher of modern jive and Julie who has her own business as a cosmetic tattooist in Brisbane.
We all clicked immediately and within no time Julie asked to see my breasts, after of course after a quick talk about my breast cancer, as she specializes in tattooing nipples for breast cancer patients. That weekend we all danced at my retreat till all hours and laughed alot.
As I had a double mastectomy three years prior and my nipples were taken off, I had reconstruction and new nipples made. My my new nipples are made out of my crouch, which is the weirdest thing, a skin graff, then the skin turned inside out to make nipples. My surgeon, Lisa Creighton at Buderim private hospital was amazing. I was very happy with the outcome and my new nipples look great, very real, so why have them tattooed?
I felt I had let go of all fears of cancer and how the awful sickness plays with people’s heads so I decided to play with the journey of it out of a place of experience, research and intrigue. The reason I decided to go ahead was not because I was unhappy with my look, I loved my new look, the reason was so that I could have another story to share with breast cancer patients that would encourage them to believe there is a great future ahead after cancer and to help them to take the fear out of their own journey. I spoke to my surgeon and she gave me my blessing and said it was a good idea. I had enough information to make an informed decision that I was not putting myself in any harm.
The journey of breast cancer is just that, a journey to embrace the good and the bad but really feel the love during the way, which is everywhere. I thought, why not. After tapping into my instincts and knowing I liked and trusted Julie enough to make a time to meet to discuss it further. Within a couple of weeks of meeting Julie, I was in a chair with my shirt off and watching her colour in my nipples with her machine. There was not alot of pain and it was not a scary process.
Julie made me feel very relaxed and the experience was great. I was worried that the nipples would be too dark but she explained that she would just start lightly and we could make it darker in the future if I felt that I was ready for that, so there was no pressure. The outcome was that the ring around the nipple was clearer and that the nipple was more defined. My partner loved this.
After the process was complete Julie bandaged my nipples to protect them. There was minimum pain and they were only slightly tender for a couple of days.
My parents were fearful that it was something that I did not need to do but as I explained to them, I wanted to do it so that other cancer survivors can get information from my experience to make their own informed decisions without fear and anxiety. My gorgeous parents are always so supportive and I love that they care so much and play such an incredible positive role in mine and our family’s lives. Support from loved ones plays such an important role for anyone who is having health problems and can help the sufferer to cope better, have less anxiety and make the right decisions. Cuddles and touch is very healing as you will see in one of my next stories about my Dad who had two months to live with prostrate cancer.
I am free to discuss my journey with anyone that would like to discuss it and talk to you about your journey. Love and Light. xx