About the tattoo…
If you read this post then you know I am getting a brain cancer-inspired tattoo. Most of the cancer tattoos I’ve seen are easy to interpret: a colored ribbon showcasing the type of cancer a person has (e.g., pink for breast cancer, gray for brain cancer). If the tattoo is in memory of a person then that person’s name and birth/death dates may also be incorporated.
My tattoo isn’t literal–you need to know me and my story to understand that it is a cancer tattoo.
On my calf you are presented with the following scene:
Near the bottom, around the ankle areas, you see bright green brain corals, which represent my brain tissue. On top of the corals, and around the leg, you see blue/purple crabs on the brain coral–this represents cancer, of course. The focal point of the tattoo is a massive–and majestic–red octopus. In nature, octopi feed on crabs, crushing their shells with their sharp beaks. Octopi are quick, smart and adaptive creatures.
The octopus in my tattoo represents a combination of things. It is the chemotherapy drug that, once passed through the blood-brain barrier, seeps through my brain tissue, finds the tentacles of my tumor, killing cancerous cells. The octopus can also represent a mental image of a smart creature protecting me from the claws of a crab.
And that octopus looks pretty fierce–who wants to mess with this guy? I’m glad he’s on my side.