Tat­too worn

Jan­ice Ba­con is a three-time breast can­cer sur­vivor who has a

Bay of Plenty Times - - Indulge December - By Re­becca Mauger

If it’s hot out­side and the lawns need mow­ing, Jan­ice Ba­con just whips off her top, bra and fake boobs and mows the lawn barech­ested. She’s not both­ered. A beau­ti­ful tat­too with but­ter­flies and cherry blos­soms adorns her chest where her breasts once were.

“No one can see me ac­cept for one neigh­bour and they’re not wor­ried,” she says.

Jan­ice, from Pa­pamoa, is one of those devil-may-care types.

”I’m over it,” she says of­ten. She’s re­fer­ring to what peo­ple think, to can­cer and she is cer­tainly over the loss of her boobs. She doesn’t miss them in the slight­est.

The 68-year-old has had a hard run — eight years of on­go­ing can­cer di­ag­no­sis, op­er­a­tions, chemo­ther­apy, ra­dio­ther­apy and even­tu­ally a dou­ble mas­tec­tomy.

Jan­ice has had three dif­fer­ent kinds of can­cer in one breast.

That’s un­lucky, and un­fair, some would say.

But Jan­ice never felt bit­ter or fear­ful. She says she felt peace from one can­cer cri­sis to the next.

“When I first got the news I thought ‘noth­ing is go­ing to hap­pen to me to­day that Je­sus and I can’t han­dle to­gether’.”

That was in 2008 af­ter a lump was found in her breast via mam­mo­gram.

“I had a yearly mam­mo­gram be­cause my mum had breast can­cer (she lived for an­other 30 years).

“I am thank­ful, if I left it, I would have been dead.”

I liken the but­ter­flies to be­ing set free from some­thing — like a but­ter­fly I feel set free.

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