Carol had never gotten a tattoo before. She was here, three months following a double mastectomy, because she saw a special on the news about tattoos as coverings for mastectomy scars.
In the places where her breasts used to sit, she now had long pink horizontal scars, from sternum to armpit, across flat, tight skin. With her top on, it was barely noticeable but when she disrobed, her entire face changed, she got shy, she got embarrassed.
I asked why she wanted to cover the scars if so few people would see them and she looked at me like I had just spit in her face, “I see them. I see every day. I never cared what other people thought about my breasts before, I don’t care now. But I see them.”
I apologized profusely and we carried on.
We ended up covering those scars with, on the left side a large bouquet of wildflowers, and on the right side a hummingbird. Her chest as now a beautiful watercolor.
She glowed as she looked in the mirror, topless, a new woman.