During and after the experience of having cancer, many people feel the desire to get a tattoo, but may not know exactly what type of design to get. For inspiration, we've compiled 10 photos of tattoos from real cancer survivors and fighters.
When we recently posted a blog post titled " Two Ugly Cancers and Three Beautiful Tattoos Later..."
we were blown away by the response. Hundreds of IHC members commented on the post on facebook, sharing photos of their cancer-related tattoos. We compiled just a few of those images to share with anyone who is interested in getting a tattoo to represent their cancer battle.
Whether you want to cover up a port scar or want a daily reminder of what you've been through, the possibilities are endless. If you have been contemplating getting a tattoo, we hope that the designs below inspire you. Thank you to everyone who shared your photos with us.
1. Something that says, "Life goes up and down".
Jodi was given 2 weeks to live after finding out she had a mutation of AML called the 11q23, which is a grim prognosis. Not only did she have a bone marrow transplant from a donor on the list but the mutation reversed itself (a medical history first). She went into cardiac arrest, but today she is alive and healthy. She chose to get the heartbeat tattoo to represent left and a and semi colon for where a sentence could end, but didn't.
2. Something from your favorite book or movie.
Gemma, a breast cancer survivor who was diagnosed at 25 years old, has a Harry Potter-inspired tattoo that refers to the character's scar.
3. A date that's important to you.
Jennifer's tattoo has multiple meanings. She chose the word courage because she learned courage through her disease; the date of her diagnosis; and three butterflies because she had three cancers in her thyroid (because it is shaped like a butterfly that is the symbol).
4. A design to dress up your port.
Missy, a Breast Cancer survivor, chose to get the image of a peony flower piece over her port scar.
5. A symbol of rebirth.
Melanie, a 9-year Stage 2 Grade 3 Triple Negative DCIS survivor loves the symbolism of phoenxies. She's a fighter. She's a survivor. She's rising up from the ashes. A fitting symbol that represents any cancer fighter and survivor out there.
6. Something that signifies peace.
After beating non-hodgkin's lymphoma, Ana chose to get a tattoo of a dove with olive branch, which comes from Ancient Greek customs and symbolizes peace or victory
7. The ribbon associated with your cancer.
Emma chose to combine a yellow ribbon to represent her bone cancer diagnosis with a pink ribbon to represent her mother, who is a breast cancer survivor.
8. A quote that reminds you of your faith.
Shannon chose a quote that serves as a testament of her faith. After surviving melanoma 3 times, she learned that no matter what happens, God will always be there to help her through.
9. Words that put life into perspective.
Emma booked her appointment at the start of chemo as something to look forward to and work towards after beating Ovarian Cancer. She picked a quote that summarized all that she learned from cancer treatment. Life is short; pick meaningful words that you want to remind yourself of every day.
10. Song lyrics that say it all.
After her second breast cancer diagnosis, Jennifer chose lyrics to a song shes always loved and frequently thought of during her treatments. She finally realized that six years after her journey began,she needed to step back and stop asking questions for which there are no answers and simply, let it be.
Do you have a tattoo that commemorates your cancer experience? Share it in the comments below!