life, Uncategorized

Keeping Promises

I made myself a promise: if I made it through all the surgeries and the year of treatment, I’d get a tattoo. At first, I wanted one that said mind over matter, but I changed my mind to wanting a phoenix.

I kept seeing the scene in Harry Potter where Harry is in Dumbledore’s office just as Fawkes (Dumbledore’s phoenix) bursts into flames and seemingly dies. Of course, a few minutes later, Fawkes reemerges as a wrinkly, featherless baby phoenix. Then, we see him later in all his colorful glory.

I know my cancer could come back and kill me. I know I may not be able to come back from the ashes if cancer visits me again, but I’m a different person now than I was a year ago. That’s why I wanted the phoenix. It’s not because I made it through this last year. It’s because cancer fundamentally changed me, and I emerged me, but a different me. I’m still trying to figure out this me.

Tattoo done at Artistic Encounter in Deep Ellum

The tattoo is a lot bigger than I thought I wanted, but I loved the design. So, here it is (sorry, Mom…don’t be too mad at me!) 💜



1 thought on “Keeping Promises”

  1. Very beautiful! I love the idea of acknowledging your transformation in this way.
    I thought I would get a tattoo over my mastectomy site. I read that it is good to wait two years for everything to settle in. As it is turning out, I have some persistent Lymphedema that ebbs and flows, I had let the tattoo idea go, but I didn’t think of having one on a different part of my body. (Shows my prudishness that I have come to age 46 sans any tattoo…) your inspires me to reconsider it. Thanks.
    Xo iris


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