health

Mom Of 3 Tattoos Black Flower Bra Across Her Breasts After Losing Both Nipples During Mastectomy

by Ileana Paules-Bronet
Ileana is a writer on the Original Content team. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Finding out you have cancer is always terrifying — even if you’re expecting the diagnosis. Although we have some successful treatment methods, there’s still no cure for cancer.

Fortunately, research has advanced enough for us to often catch cancer in its early stages.

Michelle Cole, 42, knew there was a good chance she’d get breast cancer — both her mom and her sister died of breast cancer — but getting her diagnosis in 2012 was still hard.

Michelle is a mom of three children, so she knew she had to fight her illness with everything she had.

She started her treatment by having chemotherapy, then opted to improve her chances by having a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery.

Five years after her surgeries, Michelle decided she wanted to get a tattoo to commemorate her survival.

Instead of just getting a tattoo on her wrist or ankle, though, Michelle wanted something more dramatic: a tattoo covering both her breasts.

Michelle’s black floral “bra” made her feel more confident and beautiful, and people everywhere love how unique her tattoo is!

[H/T: Sun]

michelle daughter
PA Real Life

Before her cancer diagnosis, Michelle was just a regular mom.

She worked as a caretaker for her daughter, who has cerebral palsy.

michelle son
PA Real Life

In 2012, though, Michelle found a lump on her right breast, and her worst nightmare was realized: She had breast cancer.

Both her mom and sister died from breast cancer, so Michelle always knew there was a chance she’d get it too.

michelle friend
PA Real Life

Doctors told Michelle that her breast cancer was aggressive.

Immediately after her diagnosis, Michelle was prescribed eight sessions of chemotherapy, and doctors recommended she think about getting a mastectomy.

michelle with friends
PA Real Life

Michelle went through with her chemotherapy sessions in February and March 2012. Later that year, she decided to have the mastectomy.

In July 2012, Michelle spent 10 hours in the operating room getting a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery.

michelle chemotherapy
PA Real Life

After the surgery, Michelle was left without nipples and had scarring across her breasts.

Five years later, she decided that she wanted to do something to celebrate her survival.

michelle and friends
PA Real Life

A tattoo seemed like a great option.

Michelle has always prided herself on being different from everyone else, so she thought she’d do something special for her tattoo.

michelle tattoo
PA Real Life

Instead of getting a “regular” tattoo, Michelle opted for an entire bra.

A tattoo artist spent four months working on Michelle’s tattoo, in three-hour sessions every three weeks.

michelle breast tattoo
PA Real Life

Now, Michelle shows off her breasts anytime she gets the chance — from topless sunbathing to flashing strangers at the pub, Michelle loves showing people her “bra.”

Some people don’t even realize Michelle is topless!

michelle breasts
PA Real Life

Sometimes, when Michelle takes off her shirt around people, they just assume she’s wearing a bra or a swimsuit top.

Michelle’s husband also loves her tattoo — and doesn’t mind that his wife likes flashing people her breasts.

michelle paul
PA Real Life

Everyone who’s seen Michelle’s tattoo has been supportive of it — they think it’s a great way to remember what she’s been through and celebrate her survival.

And Michelle is proud to display her strength and courage right on her chest.

michelle husband
PA Real Life

Although Michelle’s tattoo is an outward display of her strength, her inner strength comes from her family.

Michelle has two older sons and a young daughter who has cerebral palsy.

tattoo breasts
PA Real Life

Michelle knew she had to fight her cancer to be there for her daughter — she needed to survive to be able to keep caring for her baby girl.

Because of Michelle’s strength and fighting spirit, she defeated the cancer and has survived five years since her diagnosis.

michelle husband paul
PA Real Life

Her incredible tattoo is just one way to remember everything she’s been through.

Plus, it’s a totally stunning design!

michelle breasts bra
PA Real Life

What do you think of Michelle’s bra tattoo? Please SHARE this article with your friends!