This post is a message to the breast cancer community and its supporters, so please share if you or others that you know may find this information helpful.
I decided I would not be a true blue pink sister if I didn’t share the latest chapter of my cancer story, you’ll understand my trepidation as you read on.
Then I thought, this is not about me, rather it is about sharing the knowledge I’ve garnered as a patient in hopes it reaches whoever out there needs to know this information despite my own reservations …. so bear with me while I describe another life changing experience.
The story I’m about to tell is about two women who are doing work for breast cancer patients that NO others on the planet are doing.
Since the double mastectomy and reconstructive surgeries a few years ago my life has been upside down … somewhat of a shit show, as I’ve described countless times on this blog.
I tell you this again because I left the one thing that would’ve been the ‘cherry on top’ of finalizing the reconstructive process in my recovery, and I mean LITERALLY … are you ready?
I got new NIPPLES aka Areola Restorative Medical Tattoos!
Yes, that is correct, and if your reading this as you eat dinner please don’t choke on your quarantine chicken… this is PG rated.
Before the shutdowns, I met Carmelina Baccari and Kacie Rainey on Instagram who’ve created a business called ‘Procedure For A Positive Purpose’, and I inadvertently entered a contest for nipple tattooing and won.
This may sounds like the worst lottery victory in history; however, little did I know I could NOT have been more wrong.
Anyway, we had to reschedule our appointment that was originally booked for April due to the pandemic, which brings me to October when I drove to Toronto in anticipation of what was lying ahead.
On a sunny Saturday afternoon, a door opened to a house in a suburban area of Oakville. Inside stood two surgically dressed and masked women (angels!) who quickly whisked my friend and I upstairs to a cozy studio where miracles are made, and breast cancer survivors are left to be embraced in the most professional, loving, and caring way.
This is where I emphasize the importance of bed side manner. Any patient will tell you that in any clinical setting, whether it’s your family doctor, chemo nurse, lab technician drawing blood, receptionist, etc. Basically, every person you come into contact with along the way who possesses exceptional bed side manner can change the outcome of your recovery, and vice versa with the opposite treatment.
Why? Because being sick equates vulnerability, and when you are vulnerable you feel like a scared child needing the protection of a loving adult. RAW.
Anyway, I had no idea. ZERO. clue of what I was about to experience.
In regards to the actual tattoos, I didn’t care of the colour, shape, or detail of the outcome. Honestly, I shoved my thoughts on this in a mental drawer similar to a ‘junk drawer’ in everyone’s kitchen, except it’s an emotional drawer, just another thing I knew I’d unpack and clean up when I was ready.
Most would have studied the new possibilities like a PhD dissertation. Not me, why? Because I kind of didn’t care, and I knew these women would evaluate and proceed with exceptional expertise. I say this because, of course, I didn’t have to worry.
The visual outcome? STUNNING. The mental outcome? LIFE CHANGING.
The work these two are doing for breast cancer patients is unprecedented. This can not only be attested by the patients who’ve had the opportunity to be on the receiving end of their work, but also by the features in mainstream media, showcasing why they partnered to create this life changing procedure.
Why are they so unique compared to others doing similar work?
- They work side by side, at the same time reducing the time to 90 minutes, instead of 3 hours.
- They fly around the country to do this!!!!!
- Cutting edge 3D nipples.
Currently, they run clinics in Oakville, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver, with plans of expansion.
Their goal is to work with the most progressive surgeons in Canada, and eventually around the world, to educate the community, and advocate for everyone to have access to this care as part of the total reconstructive package.
Another one of their important goals is to pressure the government to have this procedure covered under it’s health plans, and not out of the patient’s pocket as it is now.
Since there is no regulation, and this is a newish territory in the advancement of breast cancer recovery, a lot of breast cancer survivors who cannot afford this last vital step in recovery are left with giant physical scars, and a damaged psyche.
I mean, if the government is going to cover millions of dollars to save lives, why would they leave this procedure out?
Why, if they are pouring millions of dollars into research to study the mental health outcomes of breast cancer patients, would they not just consider adding this procedure to the list?
I’ll leave you with this, if a man got penis cancer and had his penis chopped off to save his life, and was entitled to reconstructive surgery, do you think he’d get everything rebuilt except the tip?
A million thanks to Carmelina and Kacie, who I will forever be grateful to for our serendipitous encounter.
Please be in touch with them if you have any questions or want to nominate someone you know, contact details are below.
Procedure For A Positive Purpose