This brave cancer survivor has covered her mastectomy scars with two amazing tattoos
Beating cancer is a long and gruelling process, and some people who have been given colonoscopy bags, have gone through chemo, or who have scar tissue as a result of surgery, may find that their self-esteem has been badly affected as a result.
One such person was Vicky Kayley, who hails from West Yorkshire, England. Vicky had her breasts completely removed as a result of developing breast cancer, and was left with scar tissue as a result. However, she was elated when she won a competition run by a local tattoo studio, which would give a free mastectomy tattoo to a cancer survivor, and suffice to say, the pictures of Vicky's inking have proved inspirational.
Vicky was first diagnosed with breast cancer after she discovered a lump in her breast in February 2012. Since two of her relatives had already succumbed to breast cancer, Vicky was worried, and so she referred to a specialist at Airedale Hospital. After being given a mammogram, doctors determined that the lump was cancerous and a triple negative, which made it harder to treat. The cancer was so aggressive that they were forced to remove her left breast. After a course of chemotherapy, Vicky was given the all-clear. But her misfortune wasn't over yet.
Vicky felt disfigured after the surgery and worried that her partner Glynn found her unattractive. After her right nipple began leaking fluid, she decided to have that breast removed as well. Then, when her reconstructive surgery was due to take place, Vicky had a heart attack and missed it when she was rushed to the hospital. She was dejected by her scars, but when she noticed a competition on Facebook, being run by tattooist Lucy Thompson, she decided to get involved. Vicky won the contest, and had her chest design completed in April 2017 after a four-hour-long procedure.
Commenting on her inking, Vicky stated: "I was gutted, as I so wanted to get my confidence back. I don’t see the horrible scars now, I see the beautiful tattoo across my chest. Before I felt horrible and disfigured, but now I feel like a completely different woman, I’ve got my sass back ... With my breasts, I am a woman. Without them, I worried I would lose that femininity and that my husband would no longer find me attractive. Glynn said he would love me no matter what, but seeing my chest for the first time, I broke down. It was wonky, I just could not believe how quickly my life had changed."
She added: "When I saw it finished, I cried and cried. I couldn’t see my scars any more, just a beautiful tattoo with pretty flowers. I love showing it off, and there is no stopping me now ... The charity Nipple Innovation Project has been made for the sole purpose of relieving the financial burden for breast cancer survivors and providing an option and a directory of specialist, dedicated, artists who offer this. We do 3D nipple tattoos which are permanent as well as the mastectomy tattoos. It’s completely different to what is available on the NHS and aims to empower and dignify cancer survivors to help them love themselves again."
To check out some of the amazing work Vicky and her associates are doing for cancer survivors, check out the Nipple Innovation Project's official homepage for more information.