A breast cancer survivor has gone viral after posting a picture of her post-op right breast on Instagram.
When cancer struck Alison Habbal, 37, from Sydney, she knew that along with some of her hair, she was set to lose her nipple and suffer breast scarring in a lumpectomy.
But she wasn’t too keen on plastic surgery and the thought of recreating a nipple, so she decided to get a floral tattoo done by New Zealand-based artist Makkala Rose, the BBC reports.
After a gruelling 13-hour session in Melbourne last month, the tattoo was finished. Super pleased with the result, Alison took to Instagram and Facebook, not knowing how far it would go.
Thousands have since liked her photo, which has been re-posted on several tattoo-focused Instagram accounts. Many commended Alison on her bravery and the fact she positively embraced her suffering.
And the finished artwork by @makkalarosetattoos 13 hours, one sitting #painismybitch #likeaboss #inked #inkedgirls #tattoo #customtattoo #bowtattoo #floraltattoo #startattoo #breastcancer #fuckcancer #fxckcancer #lumpectomy #lifeaftercancer #scarcoverup #breastcancertattoo #survivortattoo #mastectomytattoos #momswithink #freethenipple Just kidding, no nipple! ⭐️⭐️⭐️
“Because there’s no nipple, I can blast it everywhere all over Facebook and Instagram, and they can’t censor it, which I think is really funny,” Alison told the BBC.
Apparently post-mastectomy and lumpectomy tattoos have been gaining popularity in the last few years, but Alison’s photo has garnered much more response than other similar tattoos.
Something she puts down to both the tattoo’s execution and the fact she’s smiling in the photo.
There are pages of collections, but mine tends to get more likes. Even on the one that went up yesterday, the page is full of hot models, and even to be on that page is an honour.
The Hamilton-based tattooist Makkala said Alison was an ‘absolute champion’ for getting through the work, an experience which she described herself as ‘blood-curdingly horrific’.
Makkala Rose said:
Alison was pretty clear about the idea that she had and what she wanted it to look like, but she also gave me a bit of freedom. It’s quite humbling and it puts a lot of things in to perspective. That made it really cool to be able to do for her.
Alison, who is married and has a seven-year-old daughter, says she was relieved more than anything after receiving her cancer results.
The lump had been there for a while and it was hurting. I’d had visions of removing it myself, wanting to cut it out. When I got it removed, I was so happy. I’ve never been so happy in my life. It probably wasn’t the normal reaction – I didn’t mind the scar.
After being inundated with messages from young breast cancer survivors, she hopes in the wake of this experience that more resources are made available to breast cancer survivors under the age of 40.
We wish Alison all the best with the future, she’s truly an inspiration to us all.