After my nipple grafts had healed it was time to choose the nipple color to be tattooed on. Since my newly reconstructed breasts, and all the surrounding area had no sensation, it was a painless procedure. I was warned by the Mayo’s tattoo technician that choosing a nipple color was tricky and could take a long time. Since I was an artist, we all had visions of me being there for hours getting the color just right. I took this drawing of The Thinker with me to the tattoo procedure. The plastic surgery staff got quite a laugh out of it and hung it up for other patients to see. As it turned out, the first color we chose worked out just fine and we were out of there in less than an hour.
Author Note: A Stroll Down Mammary Lane is an illustrated journal chronicling eighteen months of our experience with breast cancer diagnosis, treatment and cure. During the long convalescence, I spent most of my time horizontal healing from multiple surgeries, chemotherapy and other treatments. I was unable to work in my pottery studio and my career as a full time ceramic sculptor was put on hold while I focused on getting through one procedure at a time. I wasn’t able to do much but I did draw and it resulted in about 90 illustrations of my process of fighting breast cancer.
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