nipple tattoo

ATL Ink coming soon!

Hi to all!  So this title should get your attention….keep reading!

On a lighter note, there has been a lot of activity in the Gaile household since my last post.  Gracie started Kindergarten mid-August and I am happy to report that she loves it!  Ed and I are so thrilled that she is enjoying school and looks forward to it each morning!  It makes it so much easier for us!  The same week she started school, I started doing some contract work for a friend of mine that is the Director of Child Wellness at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.  It’s part-time, flexible, and has been fun!  In addition, I am room mom for Gracie’s Kindergarten Class.  Some people have asked me what I was thinking – all this change and additional activity at the same time.  My response – I feel like I have missed 1 1/2 years of my life fighting breast cancer and am just happy to be able to do it now!  I have to say that for the first time since I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I feel more like I did “pre-cancer” i.e. busy, challenged, and going constantly.  I swear only those of us that are cancer survivors truly understand this – but there really is a “pre-cancer” life vs. “post-cancer” life.  Sad, but true.  While I still am “post-cancer” and living my “new normal”, I am happy to be active and busy!

By the way, I just recently celebrated my one year anniversary of my double mastectomy.  It was September 6th (2011) – which in my mind was the real day I was cancer free.  It was the day the tumor was removed from my body!  In some ways it’s hard to believe it has been a year, in other ways it seems like forever ago.  Anyway, happy anniversary to me!  Yeah!

The following may fall into the category of “TMI” or “Too Much Information”.  So for those of you not interested…please skip to the next paragraph!  For those of you curious…keep reading.  I know I have written about this many posts ago, but the day has finally arrived.  This Wednesday morning I have what I hope to be my final reconstructive procedure – or final for a long while anyway.  I will visit with my plastic surgeon first, and then will meet the woman that will tattoo my nipples.  Yep.  You read it right.  Ouch.  The good news (or really bad depending on how you look at it) is since my double mastectomy, I don’t have any feeling in my breasts, including my nipples.  Remember, they carved out all the breast tissue and recreated my aureola and nipples from skin on my back.  So I don’t have any nerves and thus feeling.  This procedure is completely voluntary.  I could choose not to do it.  But I’ve come so far, that I really just want to look as close to “normal” or closer to how I used to look as possible.  This should be interesting.  I plan to drive myself and drive away on my own.  I know I will be patched up but it sounds like the directions and follow-up I will be given is like any other person that has gotten a tattoo.  Now for me – I don’t have a tattoo – and this will be new.  And again, for several of you that have asked me, I am not going to a tattoo parlor for this.  I will be in the comfort of my plastic surgeon’s office.  Phew!  Can you imagine the other way?!  Anyway, I am sure I will have great stories to tell on Wednesday post this procedure.  Hope you will check back.  And NO, there will not be any before and after photos!  While I joke about all of this, I really do have some anxiety around it.  I know it will be fine – especially with all I have been through – but really?!  Bottom line…this stinks.

So on a similar but different note – the other day I told someone I just recently met that I was a breast cancer survivor.  She wasn’t aware of my story as many of you reading this are.  At some point in the conversation I asked her if she had regular mammograms.  Her response was…”Well I had one years ago and am overdue.  It hurt and was so painful.”  My response, “Really!?  Let me tell you what hurts worse – 6 rounds of chemotherapy, losing all of your hair, a double mastectomy, 28 rounds of radiation (I forgot to mention the tattooing)….I think you can handle a mammogram.”  Her response, “Point Taken.”

Anyone else want to complain about mammograms?


* photo credit awarenessgifts




  1. For the record folks she shot down my suggestion of also having “Ed Luva” inked on her shoulder while they were at it.

  2. Jacqueline Maher says:

    Brilliant! Well said! And ouch! Good luck, girl!


  3. Wendy Mangum says:

    I’m having my mammogram tomorrow! I’ve thought about you and your experience often…it’s taken me several months since my 40th birthday to actually schedule it.

  4. Molly DeBlois says:

    You’re so amazing!

  5. Mary Johnson says:

    You are always such am inspiration to me!!!! Just registered for the Making Strides walk, and am humbled and honored to be a part of your team! You continue to be in our prayers, daily, and wewill gladly walk beside you, for you , and continually support you in your fight against cancer!!!! We love you, MKG!!!

Speak Your Mind