July 19th, 2018
England, United Kingdom
Kings Crossing Tattoo Parlor
With a brief Instagram story of my beaming smile and tightly closed eyes laying on a tattoo parlor chair, no one but close family and friends knew the words that were being written on my ribs.
The word, fighter, in the handwritten script of my mother and father. My dad wrote the beginning of the word while my mom finished it off.
I’ve been through a lot in my life living with cystic fibrosis. Situations that have left me weeping in my bed, holding back tears while my body is crying in pain, and times where I questioned if I would ever be able to come back from the trauma I had been through.
Well here I am, aren’t I? Still smiling, still holding a positive outlook in life despite it all.
I am a fighter.
I got this tattoo to symbolize all the strength that I have and the ever-growing strength that will come throughout my life.
I want to look in the mirror and see that tattoo as a reminder of everything I am. No matter how hard things will get in life, no matter how much I think I’ll never be able to push through; I will be reminded that I am someone who never gives up. I will get through anything and everything.
I may only have myself at the end of the day but there is comfort in knowing that I am capable of overcoming.
I will fight to live a long life. I will fight against this disease. I will fight for every single person I love in my life.
I got my mom and dads handwriting because I wouldn’t be where I am without them. I wouldn’t be on this earth, gifted with this beautiful life. They have given me the foundation to live a life that I will be proud of one day. They have covered me with love, appreciation, a home, a family; what more could I ask for?
Getting this tattoo was essential while I was in Europe because I knew it would be a time in my life that I wouldn’t want to forget.
The tattoo artist (who’s card I am trying to find to give credit to) had a family member who also suffered from cystic fibrosis. I had been so nervous that the pain would be too overwhelming and I wouldn’t be able to take it. Everyone had been hyping it up that the rib was the worst place to get a tattoo.
I asked him if it was going to be too painful and he responded with “This is going to be nothing compared to the pain that you’ve been through in your life.”
And he couldn’t be more right. The pain was near to nothing in comparison with a PICC line dressing change or the surgery recoveries that I had been through. It felt like a little bee sting for 15 minutes and then it was done.
A smile was etched on my face the entire time. I was so incredibly happy and content with how it came out and how good it felt to have it done.
Have any of you had one done or have a first-time experience you want to share? Leave it in the comments!
MegSeptember 7, 2018 at 8:17 pm
I am blown away by the thoughtfulness you put into this experience. You thought of a word that is so meaningful to your life, then you came up with a most creative way to express this word in choosing to have your parents’ hand write it, and finally you thought of the where, when, and why .
I love that the artist has a family member with CF and understood the pain that exists for you on a regular basis. You know that he shared your story with his family then too.
Robyn scheinerSeptember 7, 2018 at 9:51 pm
Caity you are in inspiration to many ….I love seeing and reading what you have to share!