'I could barely look at myself': Women turn to tattoos to cover cancer scars
Art Business

‘I could barely look at myself’: Women turn to tattoos to cover cancer scars

Tina Lemieux got a tattoo two years ago to cover the scars from her surgeries. (CBC) It’s been a long road to recovery for Tina Lemieux. For the Saint John woman, who was only 33 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, tattooing was a way to get a positive body image back. "I could barely look at myself in the mirror anymore," she recalled. Within the span of a year, Lemieux underwent a left mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Enough to kick cancer but not the end of her troubles. The reconstruction process two years later, in 2016, was a nightmare. Doctors used her radiated skin during the surgery, but after that got infected, they had to take the implant out and start all over. "The radiated skin … it just wasn’t healing properly," said Lemieux. "That was quite the ordeal itself." Doctors then tried using skin from her back. It worked, medically speaking, but it left Lemieux devastated. "It looked like a patchwork quilt, like I’d just been torn apart and patched back together," she said. "It was a big knock to my self-esteem." For the next two years, it was a constant reminder of what she […]


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