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Patients are on their own when it comes to recovery, Maariana opera singer says. She found an FDA-approved treatment in a chatroom, but astoundingly, the hospital she’d been going to didn’t believe it was a real treatment. She had to find treatment somewhere else, which cost her a year of pain.

Patients are on their own when it comes to recovery, Maariana opera singer says. She found an FDA-approved treatment in a chatroom, but astoundingly, the hospital she’d been going to didn’t believe it was a real treatment. She had to find treatment somewhere else, which cost her a year of pain.

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Maariana Vikse.docx

  1. 1. Maariana Vikse | Beginning her healing journey Patients are on their own when it comes to recovery, Maariana says. She found an FDA-approved treatment in a chatroom, but astoundingly, the hospital she’d been going to didn’t believe it was a real treatment. She had to find treatment somewhere else, which cost her a year of pain. Additionally, the radiation tattoos on her body, which mark the area to be treated, were a constant reminder of the trauma she’d experienced. “When you are not thinking about your cancer, and then you look at yourself in the mirror, and you see something that reminds you, it brings it all back.” She decided to get them removed as soon as possible. “I emailed every tattoo removal place in New York City; no one would do it for free,” she says—except for the Removery. For a breast cancer survivor struggling with huge financial burdens, that was a wonderful gift. “The moment I walked into their location, it was all warmth, all smiles. It was this feeling of, I’m in a safe place, and they’re going to take care of me,” she says. After feeling like she’d been just sitting on a conveyor belt being moved from one standard treatment to another, having the artist talk sensitively with her about her experience was a healing moment in her journey. She had to go back three times for two of the markings and five times for one where the skin had been radiated. They numbed it to make things as comfortable as possible. Compared to what she’d been through, the radiation tattoo removal was a breeze, she says.

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