Breast cancer comes with many challenges, but the one that can be often overlooked is the problem of self-esteem after a mastectomy.
In order to combat this loss of self, some breast cancer patients turn to tattoos to cover up their fear and feel better about their appearance.
The Bohemian Tattoo Club, located at 206 N. Main St., is known around Kokomo for the high quality work of its tattoo artists. So it’s no surprise that women have asked the company for help after breast cancer surgery.
Tim Boor, one of Bohemian’s artists, worked on a design that features cherry blossoms flowing down a woman’s torso. When completed, the art will cover the scars left by her double mastectomy.
âShe came to me and told me that she really liked cherry blossoms and just wanted some really pretty flowing cherry blossoms,â Boor said.
Boor and Bradley Pearce have both done several breast tattoos for women and also worked on nipple tattoos which is a tattoo designed to look like the areola and nipple which color is matched to the remaining breast.
âIt’s life changing for them when they get it and they’re happy with it,â Pearce said. âThis operation can leave them devastated. And it’s really nice to be able to help them. I think it gives them confidence in themselves.
There are some things to consider before getting a tattoo, the artists said. One of the key things is having patience. Boor said to wait for the scars to heal completely before starting the process.
âYou want the scar to settle in a bit,â he said. âYou don’t want to start getting a tattoo on a scar a month later. You want it where it isn’t so rosy anymore. I am someone who is really honest with clients. I tell them there are areas I will have to go back to because scar tissue – the way it holds ink – can look different from the rest of the body. Even when it looks like it’s over, we’ll probably have to do another session.
Pearce recommends thinking about a design choice and making sure that a tattoo is something you want. Boor also recommends careful consideration of the design. He said to go with an idea that would have been considered before breast cancer surgery.
âThink about this never happening to you, and you just get a really cool tattoo on your chest,â Boor said. ” What would you like ? That way, you end up with something you want instead of something you thought you had to get due to the situation. Some people just want that area to look good again, and the scars distract them from their attention. “
It also takes patience while waiting for the project to come to fruition. Boor estimates that cherry blossom tattoos can take up to 30 hours. And, if you choose The Bohemian Tattoo Club, be prepared to wait for a date. Because of their talent, Boor and Pearce are booked well in advance, manager Jearrie Burleson-Massey said.
” Do not rush. Be open-minded, âshe said. âI always tell people that if you’re open to the artist’s ideas, nine times out of ten you get something better than you could ever imagine. I tell people it’s like Christmas. You have an idea of ââwhat you’re going to get, but it’s always better than you imagined. Trust the process, trust the artist. There is a reason they are complete to the extent that they are.
Pearce also recommends researching tattoo artists and making sure that they can accomplish a particular design choice, and that they will be comfortable working with the artist.
Burleson-Massey said the Bohemian Tattoo Club strives to create an inviting environment for women.
âWhen we get phone calls from women who have had breast cancer and they want to cover their scars or find out what their options are, it’s a very private experience for them, which is one of the main things. that we are looking for. , “she said.” This is the experience we’re aiming for. We want it to be spectacular – they’ve been through enough already. From the moment they make the call until they arrive, we make sure that they have everything they need and that they know they are taken care of.
Pearce said a completed tattoo can change the lives of breast cancer survivors.
“This operation can leave them devastated,” he said. âAnd it’s really nice to be able to help them. I think it gives them confidence in themselves.
âA lot of times the women we’ve met are upset about their scars,â Burleson-Massey said. âThey don’t feel as beautiful as they used to be. And then the confidence they have once their scars are covered – it’s something not to remind them of what they’ve been through.
âBy undergoing such an operation, you shouldn’t feel bad about your body,â Pearce said. âIf a tattoo can help alleviate that, then absolutely go for it. Pick something that you will be proud of. Turn something bad into something good.
For more information visit https://bohemiantattooclub.com/.