beauty

26-Year-Old Tattoos Over Mastectomy Scars To Finally Feel Beautiful Again After Cancer Battle

by Jess Catcher
Jess grew up in Oklahoma before moving to New York to become a writer. She has a cat named Agnes.

Because breast cancer is the second leading cause of death for women in the United States, a diagnosis is always terrifying.

However, according to the National Breast Cancer Center, there are also over three million survivors currently living in the US. Their collective strength has helped inspire others battling the awful disease to keep their spirits up even when they’re feeling their worst.

Allyson Lynch is one of those survivors who made it her mission to share her story with others. Just 26 years old when she was diagnosed, the young model is brutally honest about both the physical and emotional pain she endured — and how she was able to take back control of her body with a stunning tattoo after all of those scars finally healed.

Take a look to hear more about Allyson’s difficult yet inspiring battle with the disease.

And be sure to SHARE her powerful story with your friends on Facebook!

Courtesy of Allyson Lynch

Allyson didn’t want to believe she had really found a lump while performing a self-examination. She had seen her mother survive the disease and knew that early detection was essential to recovery, but still couldn’t accept that it was really happening to her at such a young age.

“I was terrified, I just lost my health insurance and I had no idea what I was going to do,” she said. Allyson tried to tell herself it was probably just a strange cyst or some other explanation.

A few days, her doctor confirmed it was cancer.

Courtesy of Allyson Lynch

With her world suddenly turned upside-down with a flood of questions she never thought she’d have to answer at such a young age, Allyson decided to take control of at least one aspect of the way her body was about to change.

“I decided to have a head shaving party before it all started to fall out. I didn’t want to see clumps of hair in my hand. Some of my closest friends and family shaved their heads with me, a memory I will never forget.”

Courtesy of Allyson Lynch

As she readied herself to face the disease, Allyson had only one thing on her mind: “All I could think was that I wanted this thing out of me.”

She also hoped it had been caught early enough that she wouldn’t have to deal with more painful treatment options, but that sadly wasn’t the case.

Courtesy of Allyson Lynch

Allyson endured 16 rounds of chemotherapy over the next 20 weeks following her bi-lateral mastectomy. She chose to remove the lump and the surrounding tissue of both breasts to prevent cancer from developing again in the future.

Courtesy of Allyson Lynch

The treatment was so draining that Allyson couldn’t even work to support herself. She moved back in with her mother for much-needed help.

“Without her I’m not sure how I would have gotten through this and not ended up homeless,” she said.

Courtesy of Allyson Lynch

Allyson also found herself facing an issue she never considered: fertility.

“I then found out harvesting your eggs was very costly and not covered by insurance,” she said. “All I ever wanted was to be a mom and I didn’t want to lose the chance to carry my own baby. The support I had was amazing and if not for friends and family I would not have been able to have the procedure done.”

Courtesy of Allyson Lynch

Allyson was hospitalized twice throughout chemotherapy. At one point, she was dealing with both the cancer treatment and a persistent 103 degree fever that lasted two whole weeks.

Courtesy of Allyson Lynch

Despite her exhaustion, however, she refused to back down to doctors who thought they knew better than her about her own body.

Allyson explains, “It took a lot of fighting with the oncologist to get them to change my treatment.” Luckily, she was able to convince them and the fevers diminished.

Courtesy of Allyson Lynch

Allyson is honest when discussing the darker moments throughout her journey to recovery:

“It was more challenging than I could have ever imagined,” she said. “I wanted to give up at points, I said I would never do it again. I just cried, I cried every single day. Until there was a day that I realized I hadn’t cried and I stopped asking ‘why me?'”

Courtesy of Allyson Lynch

Instead of focusing on the negative, Allyson says she found a level of strength she would have otherwise never thought she could posses.

Courtesy of Allyson Lynch

About a year after her final round of chemotherapy, Allyson was able to undergo reconstruction surgery — something she calls a “walk in the park” compared to her previous treatment.

Since she already had other tattoos on her body, she decided to work with her regular tattoo artist for a more unique way to cover up her mastectomy scars.

Courtesy of Allyson Lynch

Allyson calls inking the floral design on her chest “one of the best decisions I ever made. It made me feel beautiful again.”

Courtesy of Allyson Lynch

Images of her tattoo spread across social media shortly after she posted the gorgeous results. Allyson is proud to share her experience with others, especially those going through similar experiences themselves.

“When I find these messages in my inbox from young women just starting out in their journey it breaks my heart but I am happy if I can make some sort of difference, it makes it feel as if the whole situation was worth something,” she said.

allyson lynch
Courtesy of Allyson Lynch

You can find Allyson and other survivors like her modeling in the October issue of O, The Oprah Magazine in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Allyson embraced the opportunity saying, “I’ve been able to use my modeling to show people that cancer doesn’t stop you from being a woman, it doesn’t make you unsexy — we are women and we are powerful, Sometimes it takes a tragedy to push you into the person you were always meant to be.”

Be sure to SHARE her incredible story of beating breast cancer and taking control of her body again with your friends on Facebook!