On September 4th, two days from now, Debbie and I return to Little Vinnie’s Tattoo Shop in Finksburg, MD with another shot at a piece of redemption.
Back in March Vinnie turned us away. Debbie was anxious that day, but ready to receive the nipple tattoos which we had heard could help bring a sense of completion to the reconstruction and implants. But it was not to be. Vinnie took a good look at Debbie’s breasts and told us it was too soon. He said the scars from the implants, and the unplanned revision of those implants, were too fresh. Vinnie said he couldn’t proceed in good faith.
Deeply disappointed and disheartened we pulled back, took Vinnie’s advice and rescheduled for six months ahead. That day, Wednesday, September 4th is almost here.
For those who don’t know, Vinnie made a decision a few years back to help give breast cancer survivors a new lease on life. In his own words, “Many things have changed over the past few years and now I spend most of my time tattooing nipple areola tattoos on breast cancer warriors… trying my best to get them closer to where they want to be.” Vinnie is sharing his talents and using them for a higher purpose, to reward these warriors for their victory against the beast.
Understand, the breast reconstruction following surgery and the implants is not like an elective enhancement. In most cases of enhancement, the breasts are cut from underneath, an incision made through the nipple, or even under the armpit and implants added with little noticeable scarring. Having a mastectomy to remove the breast tissue is much different and what my wife has referred to as “barbaric”.
Since our journey began I have felt bad for Deb when she is, however innocently, talked about in the same conversation, grouped into the same category as those who have had “work done”, because it couldn’t be more different. It’s just one of the reasons I wrote the book, It Takes 2. Surviving Breast Cancer: A Spouse’s Story, to create understanding, to better educate others about the process. Breast implants in this case followed great sacrifice, the breasts were cut from east to west right across the front and all the breast tissue removed. The difference is significant. The recovery, the sense of loss, the emotions are far from those of someone enhancing what they already have.
And so we turn to Vinnie to add the aesthetic touch to make Deb feel whole again. We hope this time the time is right.
I want it so for my wife, to feel a little closer to fine.
Thanks for caring,
(Note: Details and perspective on the outcome of our visit won’t be reported here in the journal, or on my blog at www.markbrodinsky.com The story of our tattoo experience will be an e-book extra, for those who download, It Takes 2, to be released worldwide on Amazon, September 26th. The book takes you from diagnosis to the anniversary of Debbie being one year cancer-free. In order to get it published on time, I need to share this next part of the journey after the fact, as a book extra and eventually an addendum to the printed version of It Takes 2.)