Pepsi Refresh Grant - Pink Ink - The Funny Thing About Cancer
OK, I know this seems an odd follow on blog to my last one.  And probably filled with more humor than you would expect... but much of this humor comes from the weeks immediately after my diagnosis.  

But as time is of the essence, I need to post this and ask for your help.

There is this amazing woman that is hoping to get a Pepsi Refresh grant for $25K for her charitable cause called The Pink Ink Project.

I've gotten to know this woman somewhat through the message boards at the Young Survivors Coalition and she is amazing.  She is a tattoo artist who feels as though her calling is to help cancer survivors get tattoos as part of their breast reconstruction.

I'm sure right now you're thinking "whaaaat?  tattoos?"

Well, if a patient needs/chooses to get a mastectomy as part of her treatment, the surgery typically involves removal of the nipples.  They do this as the nipples tend to be a "hotbed" of cancer activity and removal of the nipples greatly reduces recurrance rates. 

Basically, what women are left with after surgery is a large piece of flesh that is in the shape of a breast.  It fills out clothing nicely, but doesn't quite look  like a breast. 

It's missing that finishing touch, the nipple.

When I realized this would probably be what I would elect to do, in part because of my family history, my mother in law pointed out to me that some women choose to get things other than nipples tattooed on their breasts.  Tattoos of things that are meaningful to them, like pink ribbons, butterflies, dragonflies, or whatever.

Well... I immediately felt the need to express this to my husband.  I came up with a TON of great ideas of things I could get tattoo'd on instead of nipples.  Here is how that conversation went:

Me: How about eyes?  Would that freak you out?  Would you feel as though my breasts were staring at you?
Husband: How about nipples?
Me:  OOH!  How about spiders?  That could look cool, right?  Or paw prints?
Husband:  How about nipples?
Me:  Or I could get Blue and Magenta (Caleb's favorite cartoon characters)!  Then everyone could be entertained!
Husband: How about nipples?
Me:  You have no imagination.

OK, so I was just torturing him. 

I fully intend to attempt to return my breasts to their normal shape, size and look, including nipple tattoos.

But unfortunately, this type of tattooing isn't always covered by insurance.

Which is where the Pink Ink Project comes into play.  Renee is a tattoo artist in Florida whose dream is to provide cancer survivors with that "finishing touch" on their breast reconstruction, nipple tattoos.

She is applying for a $25K Pepsi Refresh grant in hopes to not only cover the cost of the tattoos, but also so that she can help assist cancer patients all over the country by either flying to them, or having them fly to see her for their tattoos.  She also is working on setting up a network of like-minded tattoo artists around the country to help fill this need.

In summary, I think this is a great woman with a beautiful heart who wants to help cancer survivors finish their incredible journey and get back to feeling like women again.  Please go vote for her and this cause:

You can vote daily.  I promise I won't repost this every day to remind you, but she needs as many votes as she can get as she has to be top 10 to get the grant.

As always, thank you for your support.
1/13/2011 04:38:23 pm

I vote eyes. Lazy eyes. Always keep him guessing if they're looking at him or someone else.

1/14/2011 05:55:03 am


First of all I wanted to thank you for posting to my blog. I apologize for not responding sooner, but it really meant a lot that you offered your Atlanta friends to me. Although I was struggling to fit in down here, things are getting much better. You have helped me with that…

A while back Brenna showed me your blog and said that if I wanted to see new pictures and stories of Caleb that your blog would be the best place to do so. When I moved across the country, I though “If Cynthia blogs about her life and is able to keep in touch with friends and family, why can’t I!” So you inspired me, and I blog once a week. (Try to) Writing about whatever I feel, and not having to get it pre-read or critiqued…but just expressing what I am doing and how I feel.

Your “word that cannot be said” blog is truly inspiring. Honestly. What an amazing person you are, and heck I don’t even really know you. Your words and stories are so hopeful and inspiring. You & your family are in my family’s prayers and thoughts every day. I can’t even fathom what you have experienced, but as I pray…I also pray that you continue to write and share your stories. Even through your difficult times you seem to be able to share your talents, you laughter, and your love with people. And that is a true gift. Thank you.


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