The Boob Report – Tits for Tats

I’ve never been a tattoo girl. My uncles and grandfather had their arms tattooed while serving in the military. From a distance some give the appearance of a horrible wound. On closer inspection, the bloody scar transforms into a huge red rose, an eagle or a cobra. I warned my children not to get them since they’re difficult to remove and they’d look like members of a motorcycle gang.

When I received the call to come back for testing after a routine mammogram, I knew I was in for a Wild Ride. I’ve always faced adversity with a plan. That first day, I came up with the idea of writing the Boob Report. I would never post, “Poor me. I have cancer,” stories. That’s not how I felt and I didn’t want to ruin my humor brand just because I had some major crap to go through.

My mind raced into the future. “What if I lose my hair?” A few years ago, an older woman going through chemo rocked the wildest floral swim cap while shopping in the grocery store. I complimented her unique chapeau. I would have to be different.

“Boom!” Sound of thought explosion.  I would get a tattoo on the back of my bald head that read, Wild Rider!

Looking for inner strength as I started my ordeal, I wanted to be badass. I wanted to be that girl who wore leather and kicked cancer’s sorry butt.

Lucky for me the results came in at stage 1. No chemo. No radiation. Whew!

Later when I mentioned my plan to my oncologist, he said, “I would never have allowed you to get a tattoo during chemotherapy.”

I would’ve resorted to henna.

Now that it’s all behind me and I’m fully bionic after my double mastectomy, I’ve toyed with the tattoo idea. At this point, I won’t opt for anything that could cause infection. Maybe someday, I’ll be in the grocery store and someone will say, “Nice tat!”

Wild Rider tattoo

Would you ever consider getting a tattoo?

Daily Prompt: Tattoo…You?

The Boob Report

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180 Comments

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180 responses to “The Boob Report – Tits for Tats

  1. You are a brave chick – dont let a little ink worry you ! Have you gotten a tat since this? I have 2, both i considered for a VERY long time (it is a commitment!) Go for it !

  2. I would never get a tattoo, but both of our daughters have at least two each. (There may be more, in secret places. I don’t want to know.)

    By the way, I love that picture of you holding the flower pots. It looks like you’re trying hard not to laugh.

    • It was supposed to be my, “What the Hell?” look.
      That was back when I didn’t know what stage cancer I had and was really angry about the whole thing.
      My friend made a canvas wrap of that photo. I love it!

      I don’t know if I’ll ever get one, but I look at them a lot differently now.

  3. Hi Susie-
    I’m new to blogging, but have found some of the best and bad-assiest (is that a word?) to follow and be inspired by. You are now one of them! I dig your blog!
    Besides the fact that I am partial to funny, wild women bloggers, I am also helping my oldest and dearest best friend deal with her breast cancer. It is indeed a wild ride. I took a week off after her mastectomy in October to stay with her and care for her, because she lives alone. I will be with her in some of the weeks to come, for her chemo. We live 5 hours away from each other, but sometimes, the miles don’t matter.

    Unfortunately, her circumstances were not what we had originally thought – they found a lump in the lump – but she is a fierce, strong, amazing woman. My family joins hers for the Christmas, and I will introduce her to your blog. She’s not on WP, but you can expect to see a lot of me around here.

    Oh, as for tattoos – I have a couple, but my bestie? She has 4, all inked on in her 40’s. She always has done everything her own way.

    Thanks for your inspiration,
    Samara

    • Thanks so much Samara! I will send positive vibes to your friend. It is a bummer, but it’s not as fatal as it used to be.
      You a such a great friend! That is a huge help and I’m sure she appreciates it.
      I really look at tattoos as art now and will consider one sometime in the future.
      I will look forward to seeing you here! Thanks so much and Happy Holidays!

  4. I almost sent you the name of an artist in Seattle who specializes in this type of work… absolutely amazing and beautiful artwork. Since you brought it up, I’ll send it now. But your natural beauty is all you really need.

    http://www.madamelazongastattoo.com/

  5. Glad I saw your comment at August’s blog. Trying to get back into any sort of schedule after the unexpected demise of a less than two year old hard drive a couple of months ago (in the middle of two major deadlines) has been a pain.

    Anyway…glad you’re doing so well now!

    And nope. I wouldn’t get a tattoo. I’m the girl who only wants white or off-white walls in my house…with all added color from furniture, window dressings, paintings, and knick knacks. If I chose dark paints or wallpaper, when I wanted to change…it would be a lot more work, so I keep the background neutral and change the easy stuff.

    I look at my body the same way. The skin is the background for all the ‘decoration.’ :)

    • Thanks so much Kristy! Now that I’m nearing the end of the year, I’ve been looking back and it freaks me out that I went through all of this. Whew! Glad to hear your computer problems are resolved. They can be a real headache.
      That is a great analogy! I am not feeling as “badass” as I was before, so I’m not sure I’ll get one. We’ll see!
      Thanks for stopping by!

  6. I would consider it especially to symbolize something major bad ass in my life! Glad to hear you are doing well Susie:)

    • Thanks Renee! We all have something like that at some point!
      I’m not sure I want to do anything that could pose a health issue, but if I could get a surgical grade tattoo, I may consider one. :)

  7. Yes. I have two small tattoos, an ugly and old one (a spider) and a new one that’s the word CHOOSE. I will probably get more, but I am very slow and consider it a really long time before I put a permanent mark on myself. I waited 18 years between the first two, but I doubt I wait that long again, haha.

  8. i am pro tattoo, sporting one on my ankle. i hope you go get one! or two!

  9. The word “consider” is an important choice. Would I “consider” getting a tattoo? Yes. Will I get one? No. Don’t want something permanent on me that can also cause skin cancer and will not look good at 70.
    Scott

  10. One day I might consider getting one of those temporary, iron-on tattoos…

  11. I don’t mind tats, but they’re not for me.
    As for you, don’t mess with imperfection, Susie.
    I love you the way you are.

  12. I love your idea! Though I shudder at the actual process. As we like to say around our house in Franglais: Skippay vous. (Skip that, dear.) I love how you share what you went through, and go through, that your positive approach is a choice, is deliberate. It’s not like it’s any easier for you just because you’re funny and upbeat. We can all make that same choice, in how we approach the major stuff that happens in life.

    You have snow flakes falling on your blog. I’m in awe.

  13. I see a tat in your future. Maybe you’ll ride from the tattoo parlor to your Polar Bear plunge, you wild woman. I did a henna tat in New Orleans. The hurricanes we were drinking lasted longer than the tat….but for twenty bucks, no worries.

  14. Personally, I’d rather get a daring haircut than a tattoo. :)

  15. Pingback: After Your Double Mastectomy | So, I Read This Book Today . . .

  16. The Regular Guy NYC

    If you really want one do it and don’t listen to anybody else. It’s your body to do with as you please. My gal has a beautiful tattoo on her leg which I think is sexy. Pay no attention to the fraidy cats who say “but it’s there forever” , “it’s painful to remove”, and “what will it look like when you get old”. Tattoos have meaning, and some are amazing artwork. Make an appointment with a highly rated and skilled tattoo artist to discuss options and see if it’s for you.

    • I’m still a ways off from making an appointment. I want to hit my one year mark first, but I would have gone for it if all the stars had aligned differently. Thank god they didn’t!!!!!
      Thanks Phil!

  17. I have an overall tattoo of sorts — it’s called a tan. I can let it fade if I ever want to, but since tats are so permanent I’ve never wanted one. Same with hair — I let the stylist do whatever he or she wants with my hair as it simply grows back (thankfully — a lot of men my age are permanently bald).

    Susie, your writing is incredible, and the title of this one is the perfect pun. I think you deserve more that a simple tattoo–maybe one that flashes with brilliant LEDs or something.

    • Awwww!!! Thanks so much Chaz! You made my day!
      It was a Daily Prompt that hit home for me.
      I remember some high school girls used tape to spell out the names of their boyfriends on their backs. It was a bummer when they broke up! It took a while to get rid of that natural tattoo!

  18. In college my girlfriends and I were all going to get tattoos, but we chickened out and got belly button rings instead. But when I did have plans to get one, it was going to be of Mickey Mouse. :)

  19. Ummm. Sorry to be the fuddyduddy, but wait awhile longer. New reports coming out linking tattoo ink to some cancers.

    • I asked about that when my reconstructive surgeon offered to do nipple tattoos. He said there is a huge difference between surgical grade and the parlor ink.
      I am definitely waiting and wouldn’t do anything that would pose a health risk.
      Thanks!

  20. I got a blacklight tattoo. It’s virtually invisible and only shows up when I turn on the blacklight!

    • How cool are you????
      One time when I was in college my friends and I walked from party to party with our own black light. We plugged it in and everyone danced! A tattoo would have added a new dimension.
      Thanks Ensis!

  21. Both my sisters and my brother got tattoos. Even my dad did (although not until he retired). I think about it. I like the idea of marking an occasion or personal motto. Wild ride definitely sounds super cool, Susie.

    • Thanks Coleen!
      You had blogged about Jonesing for one! Right? I’ve heard all kinds of stories about families doing one together in memory of one who has passed. Others find strength in symbolic reminders. Louie Vito made a YouTube video about one of his!

  22. Go for it, they key is finding a reputable tattooist, shop around and check out their work. A waiting list is a good sign, for example the girl I want to get tattooed by next is booked up until 2015! That’s an extreme case as she is quite unique in her style, they look like watercolours so is quite specific and I don’t know of anyone else in the UK doing it to her standard.

    I have a dragon sleeve tattoo, here it is: http://london-survival.com/2012/01/20/my-thailand-tattoo/

    I’m glad I waited so long, most people regret ones they had done when very young. I go to a convention in London too with the best artists from across the world, they are truly incredible, especially the ones doing something different more akin to a work of art.

  23. I love your idea, Susie! It’s like a badge of honor. A reminder of getting through something, surviving an ordeal. I would definitely consider getting one just for the hell of it. It’d have to be small and on an area that has the least amount of pain because I’m a baby.

    • Now that the back of my head is out, I was thinking about the nape of my neck, but we’ll see. Originally, I wanted it honking big, but I knew it would be temporary as my hair grew back. I’m thinking much smaller and would have to decide how visible to make it.
      You are such a Maineac Darla! You should go for it! Some kind of plaid totem or spirit animal.

  24. Pingback: Tattoo… | Life as a country bumpkin...not a city girl

  25. I LOVE the idea of a wild rider tattoo! You should do it…someday…safely. I have two tattoos…both chosen at various stages of metamorphosis in my life. I realised it could become addictive, so I stopped there. Never regretted it though. Not yet :)

  26. That would be a resounding yes for me. I always wanted a tattoo but could never find the right one that I was willing to live with the rest of my life. When I was 34 I got my first tattoo. I drew the design myself incorporating a couple of designs. When I turned 50, He-Who planned a dream vacation in Maui down to every last detail. I topped it off by getting my 2nd tattoo while I was there. Truth be told in between the two official tattoos I was also tattooed for my radiation when I had my breast cancer at 35. They look more like blue freckles but they will always be there.

    • How cool is that????
      Tattoos are definitely becoming more popular and are being seen more as an art form than de’form’ities! I think many artists have refined their talent. Although there are still some pretty gnarly tats out there!
      Thanks for chiming in and sharing your story!

  27. You are such a star – a tattoo? Maybe, maybe not.

  28. Anonymous

    I still say no…you have such beautiful skin already. My hubby the surgeon has seen many a tatoo. Not a pretty sight on skin that has aged. I’ll love you with or without the “tat”.

    • Jess is that you?
      Thank you! I am still on the fence, but I was determined to get one since it would have been a reminder of how strong I am. It would have been a more interesting conversation piece than an ordinary bald head.
      Thanks!

  29. You are an inspiration to us all.

  30. I have never considered a tattoo. I hear they hurt like hell and I can’t imagine putting myself through that. And I can’t imagine any art to which I would be that committed! I’ve seen some beautiful ones, but I’m just not tempted. I don’t judge other people for getting them, it’s just not for me!

    • I would never have thought I would ever consider one, but it made me feel like I could handle chemo if I rocked one on my bald head. Good thing I didn’t know they wouldn’t have let me and thank God I didn’t need chemo!!!!! I like the idea of a power symbol, but it would have to read Wild Rider!!
      Thanks for commenting Cathy! I love how polarizing tattoos are!

  31. A tattoo for a tattoo’s sake? No thanks. A tattoo to commemorate something meaningful and from which you can derive strength and pride for the rest of your long life? A hearty hell yes.

    As a starter run, do it in henna and see how you feel about it for those few weeks. If you love, then ink it up. If you don’t, then have someone crafty on Etsy make you a bad ass wild rider bracelet.

    • That’s exactly my reason for considering one.
      Ha! Love the henna idea. That is a brillian! That way I can try it out first. I also love the bracelet idea.
      Thanks so much Pinot!

  32. At this stage in life the only tattoo suitable for me would be an upper armband announcing, “Midlife crisis.” After all you’ve been through, Susie, if you need to scratch the tat itch, hey, go for it.

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  34. I would consider a tattoo if I could get past the ‘actively choosing to have sharp pointy things inserted into my body’ thing … probably not going to happen ( I’ve never had my ears pierced for this same reason)

    • Ohhhh! Ear lobes don’t have very much feeling and can be frozen pretty easily. I had a boyfriend pierce my ear a long time ago. I’ve heard that tattoos do hurt, but they don’t go into your skin like a hypodermic needle. If I get one, I’ll take Ibuprofen AND Tylenol. I am still a ways off from doing anything. I want to be all healed up.
      Thanks for weighing in!!!

  35. Pingback: What I Think Of Tattoos | The Jittery Goat

  36. I used to think about getting tattoos back in college but all I saw were sunflowers, or birds. Nothing very meaningful, but then a friends of mine got something from her Samoan culture and I thought that was so badass. I figured if I ever got something it would have to be meaningful with ties to something special, like my friend. I got a lot culture and meaning in my life, but nothing that would make me go under the needle. Not yet.

    • Oh Guat! I thought for sure your badass self would have at least three!!! This has been so eye opening. I never would have guessed the reactions in the comments. This has been a blast of a post! Tattoos are so divisive!!!
      These days, tattoos have become an art form. Nothing like the roses of yore…
      Great to see you!

  37. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Tattoo….You? | GG's World

  38. The best teacher I ever had proclaimed: “Tattoos are for sailors and serial killers.” That was in 1972.

    I still dislike them. I dislike anything that is fashionable that becomes permanent. And as a fake healthcare professional, well there are risks: infections, hepatitis, AIDs. All for something you will spend your life looking at thinking, “What was I thinking?”

    So I am a priss. I’ve also been fighting disease for 40 years.

    • I am so sorry to hear that. I hope it is not too painful.
      One of my conditions of getting a tattoo, is getting one that is surgical grade. They have them for nipples and my reconstruction surgeon said the one he uses for mastectomy patients has a 0 infection rate.
      I don’t want to do anything that would risk my health.
      How are you a fake healthcare professional??? :) Do you have an art degree like me?

  39. Leksy

    Please get a tattoo! DO IT :) Such badassery

  40. I love tattoos & I plan to get one once I get back on my feet financially, so I can go to my favorite artist. Maybe you should select something that represents the journey that you have been on in the past year. I like the idea of a permanent, physical reminder of something that I am passionate about or that has affected my life in a positive way. Thanks for sharing your journey, Susie!

    • My feelings about tattoos have really changed over the years. They have become so artistic. I saw one on a young woman in Barcelona that I had to comment on. She wouldn’t let me take a picture of it. She incorporated a piercing.
      I will think about it now that it’s all behind me. I really wanted one when I thought I would lose my hair.
      After watching The Omen, my boyfriend drew 666 on my ankle. It lasted a while. I forgot about that!!!
      Thank you so much for taking the time to read!

  41. Being English if someone said nice tat to me I’d be looking in my cart for potatoes lol. I can picture you with a butterfly because you soar and don’t limit yourself :0)

  42. No tattoos for this guy. It would be very difficult to hide them under my toga.

  43. Pingback: If I Chose Tattoes | mycookinglifebypatty

  44. Honestly, I’ve got two tattoos and don’t see a problem with anyone wanting to get one. Just remember it’s something you will have to live with forever unless you want it to be painfully removed later!

  45. What ever you feel good about is the thing to do. (Love your snow flakes)

  46. Maybe it is just a legacy from my generation, but I consider tattoos to be low-class exhibitionism showing a lack of refinement and intelligence. The results more often look like dirty marks than being attractive. The fad is just another example of following the herd to be ‘different’ and ending up all the (stupid) same.

    • I used to agree with you, but there are many people who have stories to tell associated with their tattoos. I noticed the one of a flower on my son’s girlfriend’s shoulder blade. Her aunt and mother got the same tattoo when a relative died of breast cancer. It was her favorite flower.
      I guess it goes back to the old adage, you can’t judge a book by its cover. Tattoos have become and art form here in the US.
      Thanks for weighing in Colonist!

  47. I would love to get a tattoo. I’ve toyed with the idea a lot, but I always wonder what to get (I don’t want to be associated with any gang even unknowingly), where to put it (I’d want some folks to see it but not all the time) and how to deal with the pain (not sure how bad it hurts).

    So, I’m still toying with the idea.

    That, plus the fact that my husband HATES tattoos. Oh well. He’d get over it. (Tee hee)

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    • You crack me up! When you find the right symbol, design or phrase, you’ll know!
      I just told my husband that I would be willing to bet that several of our friends have tattoos on discreet body parts. I may start asking. It could be a great holiday icebreaker conversation! Hahaha!
      Happy December Patricia!

  48. Pingback: Time for a – Tattoo? Who? Me? | Words 'n Pics

  49. I’m normally not a tat fan but every once in a while someone tells me a story like yours and it just seems right! You are smart not to risk infection now,Susie, but later on … if you want it, do it! You are a true Wild Rider!

    • We’ll see… It would’ve been something to get me through the process. Now I’ll wait and see how I feel about it a year from now. I have come a long way from two years ago when I really hated on them!!!
      Thanks so much Patricia! It is so great to see you!

  50. Go for it Susie. Something tasteful like a Smurfette in leather. Where, is up to you. I you want “Nice tat” go for the wrist. If you want to tempt hubby, you know. Me, I’m too chicken and am afraid of pain and permanence.

    • A Smurfette in leather!!! That one I would have to cover up….I’m still thinking around the nape of my neck, but I could also see doing one on the back of my waist.
      Thanks for stopping in Tom!

  51. Nope. Tattoos are easily identifiable marks. It’s just not in my reclusive nature. Though I will admit I did once have enough whiskey to have me considering the idea. Fortunately, no tattoo parlors were open before noon on a Sunday . . . Long story. :)

    • Before noon on a Sunday?????? Whoa! When are you going to blog about that one!???
      I already have identifying marks with my nippleless bionic boobs! I wonder what the average is of people who get tattoos that remain covered up most of the time…..

  52. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Tattoo You? | BulgingButtons

  53. I once considered getting a tat of the 1990 Chateau Haut Brion label. Then I realized it would call too much attention to my lanky arms. I find some hot on some people, and others just wretched. Great post!

  54. If you had a “Wild Rider” tattoo, people would totally think you’re a member of a motorcycle gang. :)

  55. So happy that you are free from going through the chemo journey – great news – don’t wish that on anyone. Girl, just go for the tattoo – not a fan of tattoos – but I can see a purpose in you doing one – if I could I would made one – on my scare, but I didn’t get one because of the robot operation.
    So SO happy for you, Susie. Enjoy life – get a tattoo … and be bitchy back. *smile

  56. I used to have so many piercings you could not count them all but then found out I was allergic to all things metal an non for piercings and they all rejected.. So I have stayed from tattoos even though i would love Chinese symbols on the side of my leg.

  57. I want something similar to this, since I have a double mastectomy. http://tinyurl.com/qxukn3e

    I have a beautiful wolf’s head on my left shoulder. I am looking forward to getting my chest tattoo, as soon as I can afford it…. Flowers, Celtic knot trim similar to the work in the photo above. I think it is beautiful!

  58. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Tattoo….. You? | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss

  59. I have one tattoo of a dream catcher on my left shoulder blade. Sometimes I consider getting another one, but can’t come up with an image I like enough to have on my body permanently. As an aside, the spot I chose for my dream catcher was very deliberate. I have a couple older relatives with tattoos on their forearms, and after all these years, the tats blur and start looking pretty acky. The way I figure it, the higher on the body I go, the less gravity will take over! Therefore, the back of your head should be perfect! Go for it!

    • I never would have dreamed that you’d be the Wild Child after my own heart! That is great! I love your idea about gravity. If I ever got one, it would be pretty small. I don’t need to advertise my Wild Rider status. I’m already larger than life!
      Thanks so much for sharing!

  60. That’s a great idea Susie! Go for it. I have a cross on my right arm, a reminder on many levels.

  61. I’ll be the first – loaded question. I don’t think I’ll be getting a tattoo anytime soon… But I never thought I’d grow a mustache for Movember either – you just never know. Like you, I remember the tattoos on arms of an older generation – they didn’t look so good and I decided it wasn’t for me. So the answer is no, for now – but I don’t know if I might get a wild hair!

  62. I can see you doing that tat.
    (Swim caps! They used to be so decorative and common – A must have accessory each year when the pools mandated them for all girls and women…and they were lovely…but not so much the tan lines around the face)
    Yeah, infection, lower immune system, and that ink does travel throughout the body….and ask an ER about what they look like on old people.
    So alternatives…how about making your mark with a wild blog – oh, accomplished ( and yes, you are.)
    Happy December and ride wildly on!

    • Thanks Phil!
      That cap was full of the most amazing flowers. I am so thankful that I didn’t have to go through chemo. **heavy sigh as I think of others not so lucky**
      Who knows what the future holds and if a tat is in my cards. It is amazing how much I’ve changed my mind about them. It’s a big trend!
      Happy December to you!

  63. That would be sooo you! I’d love a tat, but I don’t like needles. ;)

  64. Susie…a confession: I think about it all the time; wish I had the nerve; wish I knew what I’d “say”; once I’ve figured that out…will give it serious consideration. Maybe….
    Raye

  65. Susie, you are such an inspiration!! Truly… I have eleven tattoos and counting.. I had five before I met my fiancee… he is a tattoo artist. We’ve been together over a year and he has tatted me six times!! I am sure I am not finished, as I see more and more designs that intrigue me. Best to you, Susie.. :) I am sure whatever you decide, it will be awesome.

    • It’s so great to see you Darlene! You were one of the first people I followed.
      Thanks so much! My feelings about tattoos have softened. My son’s roommate has amazing “sleeves.”. Your fiancee is an artist and I can appreciate the expertise and eye he must have.
      Congrats to you too Darlene!

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