Lebanese Tattoo Artist Helps Breast Cancer Survivors to Heal

BEIRUT (Reuters) – For Lebanese breast most cancers survivor Roula Saad, a decade-long battle with the illness was not over till tattoo artist Joa Antoun hid her surgical scars, serving to her take care of the bodily and psychological influence of a double mastectomy.

“I hated myself within the mirror, I modified so much. I felt I used to be pressured to reside in a state of grief, I used to be mourning my femininity and the lack of a part of my physique,” Saad stated. “I used to be not reconciled with myself in any respect, nor with my very own picture.”

The mom of two now proudly wears her tattoo designs as a testomony to her victory over the illness. She described it as a therapeutic and life-changing expertise, including: “It was like being born once more.”

Along with providing tattoos to hide surgical scars, tattoo artist Antoun, 31, has additionally been providing free nipple tattoos, designed to look three-dimensional.

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Typically of their 50s, lots of the ladies she works with have been reluctant at first, she stated, reflecting social taboos in Lebanon.

“They thought that it was not price it, that it was too late for them. However getting these tattoos is changing into extra normalised and accepted,” added Antoun, who additionally helped survivors of the 2020 Beirut port explosion cowl their scars with tattoos.

Marie-Therese Chamma, a 52-year-old who had therapy, stated shedding her hair and reducing weight was not as troubling for her as dropping her breasts to the illness.

“I checked out myself and will see the scars … I couldn’t totally settle for what was occurring to me, however instructed myself I can all the time change issues after ending (therapy),” she stated.

After viewing Antoun’s web site, she determined to hunt her assist: “I used to be very hesitant however I felt that she is conscious of how we really feel and of our fears so I known as and took an appointment.”

(Further reporting by Emilie Madi; Enhancing by Tom Perry and Alison Williams)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.

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