With pride

Chest tat­too where her breasts once were

Bay of Plenty Times - - December Indulge -

The lump was a nasty stage three triple neg­a­tive breast can­cer and she un­der­went a lumpec­tomy.

“Fear has no part of my life.

“But I knew God wasn’t go­ing to heal me, I knew he wanted me to walk this walk so within three weeks I had the lump taken out.”

Chemo­ther­apy and ra­dio­ther­apy fol­lowed.

She thought all was well un­til an­other lump was found in 2013 — this time in the same breast and area as the last one.

This can­cer was duc­tal car­ci­noma in situ (DCIS) which means cells in­side the milk ducts had can­cer.

Jan­ice says she “wasn’t wor­ried too much about that one” but the breast was taken off and re­con­structed us­ing stom­ach mus­cle.

“Then in 2016 there was lump in the same boob un­der the skin so there must have been a lit­tle can­cer cell left,” she says.

She elected to have a dou­ble mas­tec­tomy, an easy de­ci­sion for her.

Jan­ice loves her chest tat­too with but­ter­flies and cherry blos­soms.

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

And she can rock around the house bare chested, like a guy, any­time it gets hot.

Jan­ice says she is can­cer-free and feels very much alive.

“It’s made me ap­pre­ci­ate the lit­tle things, I don’t think much about the fu­ture, never have, but if I want to do some­thing I just do it. I no longer sweat the small stuff.”

Jan­ice proudly shows her chest tat­too in the Dear Boobs book — a cof­fee ta­ble book com­plied by Emily Searle fea­tur­ing let­ters from women in New Zealand and over­seas writ­ing let­ters to their boobs af­ter breast can­cer.

Au­thor of the Dear Boobs project, Emily Searle.

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