Documenting my Tattoo Removal Using the Alex Tri Vantage - Toronto, ON

I Feel it's important to share my experience with...

I Feel it's important to share my experience with tattoo laser removal to help others. My tattoo is 6x12 upper back. It is a cover up, however the tattoo before was very small light circles down my spine , the majority of the tattoo being removed is the cover up. I have had 1 treatment Sept 7 2012 and will be going for my 2nd treatment on Oct 27. I will add photos as often as I can so you can see progress. Oh, cost - 166 per treatment as I bought a package deal, I have a total of 15 sessions.

Blackberry11 26 Oct 2012 My plan is - eat mostly...

blackberry11 26 Oct 2012
My plan is - eat mostly raw vegan food, as I am a vegan - so no preservatives, organic when I can - nuts and seeds, fruit. Lots of juicing to keep my immune system strong. Iam very active and workout and run and do yoga daily. I have however been pretty down about this tattoo and need to ramp up my workouts and fight it rather than let it get the best of me! I also try to get at least 8 hours of sleep and drink tons of water. I do not smoke or drink.I know my tattoo looks like one that will be hard to remove, but I am determined to get it off my back - what a huge mistake- what was I thinking! It looked so nice in the sketch, elegant, and it came out a nightmare, The artist who said he would sue me for slander if i used his name was a "world renown" artist...NOT - however he does have great work in his portfolio, so why did he screw up mine...oh well....

1st Session Sept 7 3:30PM - details: Laser was...

1st Session Sept 7 3:30PM - details:
Laser was set at level 1 (Alex TriVantage)
I was given numbing cream 30 min before treatment
Very little pain during session - felt like grease splatter or someone hitting you with an elastic band over and over -or for any of you who have used the DR. HO massage therapy at home, kind of like that.
After treatment, severe sunburn or burn - tollerable
Blistered during procedure and pin point bleeding (they said that was normal)
NEXT DAY Not really sore, tattoo looked very dark and red, lots of blisters especially where color and they are getting bigger!
Still pin point bleeding
3rd day (2nd full day) Felt good, was able to ride bike 45 min at the gym. Still lots of blisters and pin pointbleeding with some yellow goo. Overall not much change since day 2.
4:15PM 3rd day - hurts a little more, feels really tight
8PM - still like a sunburn x10
not really lots of pain just very uncomfortable -sore and used ice pack
Rough sleep, horrible thoughts of regret (stupid tattoo)

DAY 4 - woke up not as sore, ran 25 min outside then 40 min on bike. Blisters seem bigger and still blood and yellow on pad.
Swelling has come down and not as red, but still looks dark

My husband says it does look better today, I am trying to remain optomistic!

I was worried about the blisters, and called the clinic, they said not to pick them and they will drain on their own, and it's normal for the tattoo to look darker.
I change the pad 2 times a day and apply polysporn

I wish the blisters would go away and take all the ink with it!

I know my back will never look the same, but I have to accept this is the best I can do and move forward.

Day 5 - Blisters have come down, still looks dark and still a little sore with pin point bleeding, but less.
The green ink looks black, and the whole tattoo still looks so dark - worried.

Day 6 - Bleeding on pad minimal - not sore
My husband is seeing some fading

Day 7 - still bleeding and oozing yellow -but not lots, it;s getting itchy, but tolerable, still very dark

Stopped day by day documenting, but in the end, the darkness went away, along with the red, the green turned green again with some fading, overall I do see results from session one. Keeping positive.

Oct. 27 11:45am - Session 2 Machine was turned...

Oct. 27 11:45am - Session 2

Machine was turned up to level 1.8 - it hurt more but went faster.

Was able to go shopping all day after treatment, not much pain after, feels like a sun burn, just like before.

Day 2 after 2nd session. Slept very well, no...

Day 2 after 2nd session.

Slept very well, no pain at all. Not sore at all this morning, way better than the first session. Less blisters so fa.

Day 2 12:06 am, just got back from the gym, can't...

Day 2 12:06 am, just got back from the gym, can't believe there is no pain, I was able to run, ride the bike and do legs, chin ups and pull downs...felt great - gotta keep that blood moving!

I came home had a Hemp seed, kale, apple and parsley green juice made in my Vita Mix. I am going to rid this tattoo, and keep fighting it, I am going to stop letting it control my emotions, it got the best of me this summer, and it's time for me to fight back.

Stupid artist..I wish i could put his name and warn anyone in Ontario to stay away from him, he is such a fake and a jerk and ....i would say so much more but would get sued as they shop made me sign off after refunding my money.

Day 3 - bit more sore especially on the flowers....

Day 3 - bit more sore especially on the flowers. Aggg, this is so frustrating, but I am trying to stay positive! It looks like it will never go away, but I can't think that way! My husband says the lines are breaking up a bit, but really it's so hard to tell on day 3......

If only a magic wand would work....please anyone who has not gotten a tattoo - think LONG and HARD before you get one, or a cover up....if you get a cover up - get them to draw it on your back first and go home, look at it a million times and be sure.....oh if only I could go back in time!

Keep you posted, and hope for more fading!

End of day 3, still sore, hoping to wake up to...

End of day 3, still sore, hoping to wake up to less pain.

Morning 4 - 2nd Session no more bleeding,...

Morning 4 - 2nd Session

no more bleeding, still a bit sore, but I slept without the gauze to give it air, I actually think that helped.

I am taking tons of vitamins and juicing and water....must say healing after the 2nd treatment is much better.

Day 5 - 2nd Session - the itch has started,...

Day 5 - 2nd Session - the itch has started, although not that bad. The pain has subsided and still some swelling.

The itch is gone, it wasn't that bad, it took one...

The itch is gone, it wasn't that bad, it took one week to heal, blisters gone completely, no signs of scarring yet. I didn't seem to peel as much as last time, not sure if that is good or bad.

I see some more fading, but its only 11 days since my treatment, and it takes 4-6 weeks min to clear the ink.

I will take a photo soon and post.

The most impressive thing for me this time around was how fast it healed - that was great and not unexpected.

Next session is Dec. 8th......what did I get myself into!

I wanted to say that I am glad that my review has...

I wanted to say that I am glad that my review has given some insight into tattoo removal. It's a shame that there are people that have to go through this whether is by choice due to lifestyle change, or because of a horrible tattoo job.

My son says to me all the time "YOLO" and it makes me laugh, but deep down I feel so embarrassed to have done this to myself, and I know my family does not judge me, but I was always the clean cut mother, who stays in great shape, cares for her body, mind and has a great spirit, and loves her family more than life itself, so how can this ink on my back take such a toll on my emotional well being. For those of you following this I hope I inspire you that you are to do your best to see the bright side, you will have sad moments, we all do, and we may HATE out body art so much that it makes us cry, but when it comes down to it, it's just ink on skin, and we are alive and sounds like we all have family support. You have my support, and we will work together to motivate each other when down....you can email me directly too, but i think its good for everyone to see how other feel going through this as it helps put their feelings into perspective, as they are not alone in this.
Sorry for the long post, but I really want to hit home that we must keep our chin up, don't be ashamed, and don't hide yourself, be proud of who you are regardless of what you have done. People make worse mistakes but they just don't wear it on their skin, and it can't usually be removed. In time, this will be a memory we can all look back at and laugh....even if some ink remains we will deal with it then. Take good care all :)

Feels like my tattoo is completely healed, I see...

Feels like my tattoo is completely healed, I see some additioal fading, mostly in the black, but not as drastic as the 1st session.

I will post a new photo before my next treatment.

Some things to consider if you are going to have laser tattoo remvoal:

Smokers have a 70% less (aprox) chance of successful removal
Healthy diet, exersice, and rest aids in boosting your immune system which you want strong to aid in removal process
Keep your stress low, this is where I struggle, as I am very stressed about this tattoo, and a few other things in my life, so this is where I really need to focus. Yoga helps and running helps, and my family support - they are great!

Looking forward to next treatment..

I was doing some research this morning on Tattoo...

I was doing some research this morning on Tattoo Removal and found some news articles published today in The Star paper -

http://www.thestar.com/living/article/1288928--tattoos-are-harder-to-remove-if-you-smoke
http://www.thestar.com/living/article/1287672--tattoo-removal-is-expensive-time-consuming-and-painful-it-s-also-a-booming-industry

Today I am feeling pretty down about my tattoo, I am not noticing as much fading as I would like to see since the 2nd treatment, but there is some.

I have to remember I am only on my 2nd treatment, and this is a very long road.....too long! I hope someone who is thinking about getting a tattoo, or cover up comes across my review, and others on here and that it helps them make an informed decision.

What I wish I knew before hand:

Think long and hard about placement of your tattoo, remember it's going to become a part of your body for life.
Size of tattoo and color - as if you change your mind, removal is so much harder with color
and of course the artist, research, research and research - and if you are gettting cover up, ask to see MULTIPLE pictures in his profile that are cover ups, get him/her to draw on your first, and go home and get used to it, and make sure it's what you want. I did that and still messed up, so who knows - just be sure!!!

For those of you in the same boat as me, we need to stay positive and move on with our life. I know that the regret is VERY hard to deal with, and you may feel withdrawn and very depressed. I find it very hard to keep the bounce in my step, in fact I am really not the same since this experience. The connections I have made through this review has helped, as you can share your feelings with others who are goin through the same thing. Again, I can't say it enough, get out and do something - run, yoga, get out in nature - it really helps lift your spirits. It will get harder with the cold weather, but dress warm and know when you return you will feel better - or just go to the gym!

Thanks to all of you for your support!

Check out this review - great info about laser...

check out this review - great info about laser treatment on new tattoos by the doctors

http://www.realself.com/question/Lighten-new-tattoo

Came across an article some of you might be...

Came across an article some of you might be interested in as it talks about regret immediately after getting the tattoo:

http://www.tattoomdla.com/how-soon-can-i-get-this-tattoo-removed/

"A new tattoo generally heals within 1-2 weeks. By the time the skin is no longer broken, it is ok to start laser tattoo removal. Although we have no scientific data on this, starting early is better than waiting a few months or more. Once you start treatment, you can continue getting more treatments as frequently as every 4-6 weeks."

also another post on here talks about new tattoo removal with 2 doctor responses, in case you missed it:

http://www.realself.com/question/fresh-tattoo-removal-laser

Take care!

Well here you go, this is the results of my 2nd...

Well here you go, this is the results of my 2nd treatment after week 6, I go for treatment tomorrow.

I see some additional fading, I think it's going ok...

3rd session completed on Dec. 8th, the session was...

3rd session completed on Dec. 8th, the session was much more painful then my first 2, sorry to tell you all, but when they turn up the laser the pain really does get worse! They numb me for 30 min before the session, however next time I am going to use Mr. Numb before going, and then they can also apply their numbing cream and the nurse told me I can take 2 T3 before or after the appointment.

The throbbing lasted about 2 hours after the session was completed, and as the day came closer to an end it just felt more and like a sunburn. I only have 2 blisters and the swelling is about the same as the previous session.

I must say this session drained more than any before, I was very tired after and had a very good sleep.

2nd day session 3 - no more pain than the other sessions, just very red, and feels like a sunburn. I rode my bike for 35 min and did some light weights and abs - felt ok..

I am really trying to remain positive, and the nurse said she is seeing nice break up of the black ink and the color fading. She actually said the yellow is responding really well (that is usually a color they can't remove completely)

I will keep you posted!

3rd Session day 2 Healing very well, and...

3rd Session day 2

Healing very well, and blisters are already reducing in size. It's still very dark and red and raised. I have been applying polysporin at night and keeping it covered, today I have left the bandage off, as there is no bleeding, and I have Aloe Vera on it, really soothing. I am also drinking Aloe Vera - to help healing on the inside.

Session 3 - 3rd day - woke up really sore, tattoo...

Session 3 - 3rd day - woke up really sore, tattoo feels raw.....so I am a bit shocked as I expected it to just keep getting better. Going to rest today, no working out an keep it covered.

Ahhhh....feeling better, and actually ended up...

Ahhhh....feeling better, and actually ended up riding my bike for 45 min. I am not as sore, and the redness is subsiding, still one big blister, but no bleeding or anything.

No itch yet....waiting for that to come on, however I never really itch too bad.

I had a really nice talk with a tattoo removal shop owner, he advised me that I should have great results, and that the Alex TriVantage is an excellent machine! So that was very good to hear!

Session 3 - day 6 - the blisters were gone...

Session 3 - day 6 - the blisters were gone yesterday, skin is very dry and flacking, and the itch has begun, however it's not too bad.

Healing nicely, not much fading, but there is some breakup of the lines.

I think I am going to need 15-20 sessions forsure!

3rd session update - Itch has come to a halt......

3rd session update - Itch has come to a halt....and the darkness is gone, and it does look a bit faded (as per my lovely husband)

I had the best shopping night with my daughter tonight, she is wonderful, we laughed, and listened to loud music in the car, and I acted like my crazy self tonight which was the best feeling in the world! Her face lit up like fireworks, she was happy to see me back to normal ( We love music and acting crazy) She is like a little DJ in the car, she has all the hits on her playlist, and the fun we had just lifted my spirits, and better yet, hers. Trust me, when you are down, the people, including your pets feel it, which is another reason to pick yourself up.

SO as Pitbull would say in his new song "Alright" (great pick me up song, feeling down, play it and have fun!!!)

"It’s alright, it’s OK
We gon’ party all night and drink all day
It’s alright, it’s OK
We gon’ party all night and drink all day

Hello everyone :) Hope you had a wonderful...

Hello everyone :)
Hope you had a wonderful Christmas, and are looking forward to a bright New Year! Lets us all end this year and move into 2013 on a positive note!

This week I watched "Eat, Pray, Love" for the 2nd time this year, this time I really connected to it, and I wanted to share some of the things that I learned from the movie.

In the scene when Julia Roberts is in Italy and she is sitting in some ruins, she says "ruin is a gift, ruin is the road to transformation" and it hit me like a load of bricks! My gift from this experience is being able to connect and help build a support network for all of you, and my ruin (tattoo) has transformed me in many ways, and has proven to me that I do have the inner strength to overcome a horrible experience and work at building myself up and finding my balance again.

In Bali when she goes to see her friend he says to her "When you loose balance you loose power" That is so true, we all have power within us and when we loose that we feel lost.

He also tells her to "smile with your face and mind" I love this one! Do you ever find yourself smiling only to feel sad inside, learn to be happy again, feel your inner happiness and remember you are beautiful inside and out.

And last but not least he told her to "fogive yourself"

I have finally forgiven myself, for real, and I feel better.

Take care all!

4th session completed yesterday afternoon - I must...

4th session completed yesterday afternoon - I must say it was a breeze. I was terrified to go as session 3 was super painful. I mentally prepared myself and brought along my prayer beads and chanted in my mind a mantra "OM MANI PADME HUM" over and over as I spun my beads with my thumb, and I believe that helped. I also experienced very little throbbing and pain after...not sure why, she turned up the laser, I had no additional numbing....hmmmm.

I only have one blister, and the usual redness. Sorry I didn't post a final picture from session 3, but I didn't find the fading that drastic, however there was fading in the windbars.

4th session - 3rd day, healing very well, blister...

4th session - 3rd day, healing very well, blister almost gone, redness subsided, just still feels sensitive.

I am wanting to address a question regarding when Black fades does it turn brown. In my experience and research, yes - in fact all colors fade and may appear differently than the original color, as the tattoo ink is being stripped and faded from the skin, I am no expert, but in my opinion it will not go from black to skin color, it's a process and there may be varying shades of the colors.

My black has turned brownish, the other colors are just fading and look not so bright anymore - like an old tattoo, and appears blurry in some spots.

Also I would like to add a comment about how Yellow is the hardest to remove - not the case in my tattoo, the yellow is responding very well, in fact the quickest....so I don't believe there is one response or conclusion for any results. Our bodies/tattoos are all very different and will respond very differently to the treatment. Some colors will turn darker, hence why a test spot should be completed, and some colors may not respond at all....all you can do is try.

I have some updated photos from session 4

I have some updated photos from session 4

The big day is tomorrow - Session 5! I am excited,...

The big day is tomorrow - Session 5! I am excited, but scared as it hurt so much last time....oh well, with pain eventually will come pleasure.

So I wanted to share a story, because through this darkness, there really has been so much light.

I have a brother who is older than me, we were NEVER close, the reason is because he is a drug addict, and I never got to know him, rather I only knew the user. I knew he was always a great person, has a great heart, but because of his addictions it was very hard to get close to him, he wasn't mentally there.
The ironic thing is, he was the person I turned to for comfort during the beginning of all of this. We live miles apart, in different provinces, yet he was so close. I have not spoken to him in many years, in fact the last time I saw him was over 15 years ago. I was talking with my mom on the phone, he happened to be there visiting her, and my mom asked if I wanted to say hi...of course I said yes. He got on the phone, and in his lispy crackly voice he softly asked "Hi, how are you?" It was the most comforting voice I could ever have heard, and I just broke down in tears...he was so concerned, and repeatedly asked "What's wrong, tell me...whatever it is it will be ok" At first I didn't want to tell him, I was so ashamed, yet I felt he was one person who really would understand and not pass judgement on me. I was brave and told him what had happened, and confided in him completely, I told him how ugly I felt..how stupid I was. He refused to accept my words as truth and insisted they were not true and didn't want to hear me say that. He suddenly became very wise and insightful, he became a father figure, he was so kind, smart, and compassionate. He reassured me none of my words were true. We spoke for over an hour, I think that was the most we ever really spoke to each other our entire life. My brother lived a life on the streets, and was often in jail, he is in his late 40's now and he wanted me to understand that this will pass, to pick myself up..he told me over and over again it was only a mistake, people make them. He also reminded me that I have a wonderful family and they needed me, he didn't want me to wear myself down mentally and get sick as that would be worse than the tattoo, and that regret would be stronger than this itself. He told me he carries regret with him every moment, and he can't take back anything he did, he felt he ruined his life because of his drug addiction, and missed out on family, he also told me that even through all his misary he was able to find good, and he is working on building his life back up, he is not giving up. I felft so much strength in his words, and I think of them when I am down. You know, I always worried about him, yet for some selfish reason I never took the time to contact him and see how he was, I was too wrapped up in my own little world, my perfect little world, I just wrote him off as some absent brother, a junkie, yet there he was there for me, he never turned me away. It suddenly made me realize the true value of "real" people. There are so many fake, and selfish people in this world, and I was sadly was kind of one of them...I never even knew how my own brother was, and so selfish to even reach out to him, yet he was there for me in my darkest moment. It woke me up, in fact it shook me, it was like he knew I needed him, he was never around, my mom hardly saw him (we rarely knew where he was) yet there he was. I was so happy to hear he is in recovery, and working to turn his life around, he was so insightful...so smart, it was amazing. He is doing well, and I plan on keeping in contact with him, and I am very proud to call him my brother. I hope to see him again, and so the moral of my story, as bad as this tattoo is, it has also brought me wonderful gifts.

I hope that you also see the good in all of this, and that you take comfort that you are not alone, we never are, there is always someone out there to help us, and there is always a message that we must pay attention to.

Have a wonderful weekend, I will post some updated pictures soon.

Session 5...I am not going to lie, it hurt! It...

Session 5...I am not going to lie, it hurt! It hurt bad....
The laser was turned up to level 7, and when she started, it felt as though a knife was cutting my back...sorry all, don't mean to scare you, just prepare you. I numbed 45 min before, and if it hurts that much with numbing, then I can not imagine without it. They don't do injections, but do have a more powerful numbing agent that is $30 a session, I am really thinking of getting that!!

As she treated the dark ink, it felt like it lasted forever and I instantly felt the throbbing during the entire treatment. When she switched to the 2nd laser to treat the orange and yellow, my back was throbbing so bad, I didn't even feel the 2nd laser at all...natural pain killer - LOL. At the end of treatment, I was very dizzy and when I stood up I felt sick...I needed a few minutes to recover, and asked for some time to be alone so I could cry and sulk to myself and try and reassure me that I can do this. I felt so weak...all day, and I still do. Some days I feel so strong and inspired, but some days, especially today hopeless. If it wasn't for all the support we share I would have even a harder time getting through this - so thank you to all of you, thank you so much :)

Oh, I forgot to mention, my nurse was thrilled at...

Oh, I forgot to mention, my nurse was thrilled at my fading after only 4 sessions, and she is excited and reassured me that a full removal is very possible. She told me about others who have been treated, simialar size and colors, and full removal completed, and you can hardly tell there was tattoo, in fact she said some you can't at all.

Session 5 - Day after - Can anyone say BLISTERS!!!...

Session 5 - Day after - Can anyone say BLISTERS!!! OMG, it's like one big giant blister....wow! Good news, I slept really well and the throbbing is gone completely. I know your not supposed to drain the blisters, but they were so huge my husband used an insulin needle and poked them, feels so much better. My husband said that he can see spots where ink is completely gone already - color me happy! Hard to tell now, but I actually think the yellow and orange really came out well this time, it's almost skin color from what I can see..but again, very hard to be sure so soon.

I was going to take a photo, but to be honest, it was so gross, I couldn't ...so hopefully in 4-6 weeks I will be posting a photo of a very faded tattoo!

Session 5 day 3.... feels a little sore today, but...

Session 5 day 3.... feels a little sore today, but healing well. I have been focusing on drinking tons of fresh green juices which include ginger, apples, kale, dandelion, kiwi, celery...you name it! I have also been eating very little processed food...because I feel the less my body has to work at getting rid of other toxins, then the more it can focus on my ink removal. I do still drink coffee and sneak a bit of dark chocolate..but I am only human!

My thought for today: A very painful lesson learned, but one that I will never forget.

Sorry for the delay in posting updated pictures.....

Sorry for the delay in posting updated pictures...24 days since session...here you go.

6th Session completed on March 30th! I am well on...

6th Session completed on March 30th! I am well on my way, and feeling great! I am seeing results, especially in the black. The color will take longer to remove/fade, but I expected that. (see attached photo update) The nurse reassured me the black will be no problem, but color takes time.

Pain: Yep, hurt...LOL, really bad especially near my spine and shoulder blade, as well as anywhere the ink is really dense.... this was the first session ( I think) that I actually asked them to stop for a second...no tears though!

Healing: Doing really well, throbbing subsided quicker than any other session, no after pain, just ugly blisters, swollen, and red as per usual. As per the photo looks like it would hurt, but it doesn't, just feels like a bad sunburn.

So how am I feeling after 6 sessions emotionally...I must say better than I have felt in a long time! I have surrendered and accepted my situation, I am letting go of this, I will allow this process to just happen. Trying to control the outcome is a terrible waste of energy. I wanted happiness back in my life, so I have focused on healing. My husband always told me when this all first happened that I would regret the depression and how it impacted my family more than this tattoo....and he was correct in saying that, I would give anything to go back and change how I dealt with my emotions, I wish my kids didn't have to see their mom go through depression and horrible crying and pacing at night.,,.. life happens, it's how we deal with it that matters.

I worried everyday what other people would think of me because of this tattoo, but I realize now it does not matter what other people think, good people don't judge others. I can't be accepted by everyone with or without a tattoo. In the end all that matters is that you are accepting of yourself and you are surrounded by a supportive loving family. Be true to who you are, and don't give into the pressure of what others expect of you - in the end that will be your biggest regret, not being true to yourself. For myself, this tattoo just didn't turn out how I had hoped, so I am removing it, I love tattoos, and I will not hesitate to get another cover up if needed, nor will I hesitate to get another tattoo in the future. I have just learned what not to do to avoid another failed tattoo.

Session 6 update - 2nd full day since treatment. I...

Session 6 update - 2nd full day since treatment. I am actually very sore today, it feels very raw and the blisters are annoying....but I can handle this :)

I often still do ask myself how I got into this mess, the "why, and how did this happen" questions still do go through my mind. I feel like such a failure at times, however I know that there really is no such thing as failure, the truth is the only real failure is the failure to try, and success is how we deal with failure and dissapointment.

Session 6 - 1 week - I am itchy! Healing nice,...

Session 6 - 1 week - I am itchy! Healing nice, blisters went away about 3 days ago... I updated a photo...here is the start of the fading.

I am spending the afternoon reading, and in my...

I am spending the afternoon reading, and in my book, the author writes: "It was as if I had been swimming down the same river over and over, and each time I would come across a large rock blocking my natural flow. It was always there. One day, though, I realized that it may always be there. So rather than have to face that same rock, that same blockage, repeatedly, I was choosing somewhere different to swim. I didn't have to set myself up for that hurdle over and over, one that hindered my natural progress, causing blockages and pain every time without fail." ~Bonnie Ware "The Top Five REGRETS of the Dying"

That just hit me like a ton of bricks!

Has anyone know if the Picosure laser is available...

Has anyone know if the Picosure laser is available in Toronto, I have searched and have had no luck....thx

I am 17 days post 6th session, and with summer...

I am 17 days post 6th session, and with summer coming up, I wanted to show you what I am dealing with when I attempt to wear my favorite type of tank tops, and the reason why I will not probably ever wear them!

Welcome summer, I am going to embrace it, it's only a tank top! There are several nice tops I can wear....

I am gearing up for session 7! The big day is May...

I am gearing up for session 7! The big day is May 11th

I think I am seeing some good fading..fingers crossed!

I am gearing up for session 7! The big day is May...

I am gearing up for session 7! The big day is May 11th

I think I am seeing some good fading..fingers crossed!

Hello all, I am gearing up for my next session,...

Hello all, I am gearing up for my next session, lucky #7! My appointment is on May 11th. I am already mentally preparing myself for the pain, and I can handle this!

I'll try again to post a picture, but I am having issues uploading them.

A note to all of you going through this, I have been doing so much thinking, and so much self healing and realize how strong this situation has made me. I am so loved by my family, OMG I am so lucky for that, my husband and kids are so amazing! So what I want to remind all of you out there who are battling emotions and depression due to an unfortunate tattoo mistake is look past the tattoo and cherish the many wonderful things in your life. I say this again, the one thing I regret more than the tattoo is how I treated my family while I was struggling with my emotions and battling depression...it was so unfair to the kids, my husband, my friends and even my pets..I wish I could take all that back. Unfortunately the people we love the most usually suffer the most when there is personal issues. I realized that no matter what, they love me and that is all that is important. The tattoo will vanish and either be gone or replaced with something beautiful, you can't take back hurt you cause people, however you can change yourself and treat yourself better and this will reflect on how others feel around you. Don't make another mistake and be so hard on yourself, love yourself no matter what the circumstance.

Session 7 completed! Laser turned up to level 8,...

Session 7 completed! Laser turned up to level 8, painful...YES! I really had a tough time with this session, I squirmed and hard a hard time sitting still, but I got through it with some deep breaths and tried to shift my focus...but it was really difficult. Now the good news, there appears to be no blisters, and no blood...she went really fast, it seemed, but she did hit the whole tattoo. I worked out today, did bike and light yoga and had no issues. I am not even sure I need to re bandage it - shrug. I sure hope she hit it enough to let way for some fading! I am going to wait 6-8 weeks, maybe even 10 for my next session, I need a break.

5th day - session #7

Healing almost complete, hardly any itch, not sure how this can be, this session is nothing like the others, I wonder if I will see any fading, but I will think positive. This tattoo needs to go, and I don't want to stand in the way of my body working to get rid of the ink, when I see the photos, I still can't believe that is my back I am looking at, I feel so disconnected from that part of my body, I have never felt this way about any part of my body. The one thing I dislike the most post removal is how dark it looks, yuck!

Treatment 7 results so far

I am 6 weeks post treatment #7, fading is coming along great. I will post a photo very soon. The black is responding much faster than the color, however yellow and green are responding great as well.

A must see!

Today I had some down moments, just frustrated with this situation, it's steals my energy at times. I came across a documentary on the US Netflix called "Happy" it's a must see, if you are struggling with depression or anxiety, or just not happy because of your tattoo regret, promise me you will watch this movie! Or better yet, promise yourself! I needed a lift, and it did just that, there was a moment in the documentary that when this lady tells her story, I just broke down in tears, and suddenly came to terms with my tattoo. I have forgiven myself for making this mistake, but I don't think I have fully accepted my situation. Again, I stress the importance of watching the documentary if you feel you need a lift.

Gearing up for Session #8

As I prepare for session #8 tomorrow I already have thoughts of worry, and self depreciating thoughts about what I did..then on my run today I quickly shifted my thoughts to positive things about myself. I thought I would post this and give you all the opportunity to post the POSITIVE and GREAT things about yourself, rather than the tattoo regret. I will start, and I hope to read others:

I am a wonderful mother, trusted friend, and wife!
I am fit and 40 ( I feel like I am 25!)
I inspire others to live a life that is true to them
I care about the environment
I respect nature and all of its inhabitants
I am smart
I am creative
I am not perfect and I accept that

Session #7 results & session #8 update

Here is a picture of my results from session #7

Session #8 left me with lots of blisters....I numbed my back with Mr. Numb for 3 hours before my session, and they used ice, it helped but I could still feel it of course. The laser was set at 8.5

Session #8 day 3

Well, what can I say...pretty much the same drill...lots of blisters and feels like a sunburn. I don't understand why, but the very next day it does not hurt at all...but the day 2 & 3 it starts to really feel sore. Yesterday I felt really drained, no energy at all, and today a bit like that too...my husband said to just rest as my body is going through alot. I have not worked out since my treatment, I normally do, but I really feel drained after this session. I was just trembling towards the end of the treatment.

I am guilty of obsessing over my tattoo today, BUT on the up side I was able to easily shift my focus back. I had mixed feelings about my results so far, but then checked out my pictures again, and when you see where I started from I feel I have come pretty far.

I want to just send a friendly reminder to everyone who is following my posts and getting removal as well, make sure you drink a ton of water and you can add lemon as lemon is great for detoxification, skin care - it's actually one of mother natures natural antiseptic medicine, plus it tastes great too! You can actually make a nice jug of fresh spearmint or peppermint leaves, combined with lemon and cucumber peel and let it sit in the fridge overnight, it's refreshing.
Have a scoop of honey (yes even I eat honey, I know that's not vegan) Honey is an amazing thing...I am using dandelion honey at the moment. Aloe Vera both internally and externally is great for healing and cleansing, you can add to water, throw in some chia seeds or psyllium husks to aid in cleansing. You can also add this all to a shake of your choice. You really want to focus on cleansing your liver, and Milk thistle and dandelion are great for that. And above all else, work on your stress levels, and ensure you are managing your emotions and getting sleep. I realize through many peoples posts, and direct contact that this is a very challenging time in your life. Just remember you can't go back in change it, so stop focusing on that, focus on resolving the issue and take care of yourself.

And my final note - GET OUTSIDE in nature, and don't forget to exercise vigorously as I believe that if you keep your blood flowing, it will help get rid of the ink.

I think that's it....but just don't forget to be good to yourself, and if you are on line researching tattoo removal and obsessing, GET OFF...RIGHT NOW!

Hugs from B11

Itching has begun full force!

I want a tree in my house, and like a bear rub my back all over it! It's just peeling like crazy, feels so good to just gently brush off the dead skin. Gosh, it healed fast considering it was a harsh treatment, tons of blisters.

I am feeling good about my progress...and looking more forward to session 9, no breaks as soon as I am ready to go...I am going!

~ Happiness is not the absence of problems. It's the ability to deal with them. -Steve Maraboli

So stay strong, and do something wonderful for yourself this weekend! I am going to go for a long bike ride with my hubby, have lunch, sit by the lake, and enjoy life!

I just don't care....

Today I have been reading update on other posts, and I can't wait until others catch up and start to heal from the damage this tattoo regret can cause. I think it was Barbiedoll90 that mentioned she was now going to focus on getting fit and healthy and absorb the love and support from her family, that's the spirit!! I myself...I have gotten to the point that I just don't care...nope, don't care...I have so many other great things in my life that oh well...I f'ckd up...and such as life. I would rather spend my day feeling happy, then crazy depressed...when I look back, what a waste of time..BUT I had to go through it to get to where I am today...The sun gets blocked by clouds but it always shines again.

I did it!

I finally did it, I have been hiding behind T-shirts and high neck tops, being careful to not allow my "tattoo" to show, well today I went to the beach, it was the most beautiful day, I found myself the perfect spot to relax and do some yoga, meditate and read. As I sat there watching the people walk by with their skin bare on display, I felt so envious, and wished I could do that. It was hot, and I had my T-shirt with a rather strappy sports bra under, I thought...enough, what am I so afraid of?! So I got brave and off my top went, and along with my top a rush of relief and all the fear I had built up inside just flowed out of me, it was so liberating. The warmth of the sun on my skin just made me melt inside...... Some thoughts that I had today while I soothed my soul under the sun that I would like to share with you all is...It's really amazing how one poor decision can really shake one's world and in particular, their confidence. It's crazy how much focus we put into our appearance, what people "will think of us" and as I lay there today with the feeling that conquered my biggest enemy, my tattoo, I question why is what we look like so important? and even more I question, why do we care?!! Are we hiding from others, and what they will think of us, are we hiding from ourselves because we made a mistake? What exactly are we hiding from? There are people walking around with burn scars, acne scars all over their back and face, over weight, under weight, too short, too tall...when is this all going to stop!! When will people just accept people for who they are, not what they look like! To all of you that feel you "ruined your body because of your tattoo" I say you added to your character, and are true to who you are and not afraid to be that person. So what, your tattoo didn't turn out the way you had hoped, but nothing in life does...so hang in there, stay strong and be good to yourself, and rather than focusing on the outside, what people can see, focus on your inside, your mind, what makes you happy, not what satisfies others.

Photos - results session 8

Here you go all, my results from session 8, I feel that I still have a long ways to go, but I am making progress. I notice that the brownish stains are fading away, and I hope that helps with all the other people asking about that, it seems to be normals when removing black ink and...it does fade!

Getting Ready for Session 9 - and I had an interesting day today!

Well... session 9 is booked for Sept. 14th! So about today, it was amazing!! I woke up and felt like I had to call my mom. We had a wonderful chat, my brother was at her house and he sounded a little stressed (if you recall from an earlier post I spoke of my brother, so this will only make sense if you have read it). My brother asked to speak with me and he began to share his worries. I don't want to share the details, as they are personal to him; however, I was thrilled to listen and be available to him and give him back the support that he gave to me last year. In short, he felt like he had no options in his situation and during our conversation I heard many (isn't it funny how we don't hear them ourselves!) So I said to him, "well you know what, you just gave me a number of ways to solve your problems so the solution is there, now which one do you feel would work best for you?! He paused and said, "well....it's not that easy". I said, "I understand, it never is, and you can do nothing OR you can do something and work towards your solution". In the end, he felt better. I was also able to tell him how important he was and how much he impacted me last year and I thanked him again. The moral of this story is that when we need someone or something, the universe will connect you. Stay positive, and know that things always work out. Keep Healthy! B11

Session 9 completed!

Hello all, hope everyone is doing great and enjoying the weekend!!! I have completed session 9, it was intense! The laser (Alex TriVantage) has 2 wands that are used during my treatment, one for color and the other for black. The black' s highest level is 10 and I was at 9 today, and the color laser's highest setting was 5 and I am at 5. What am I getting at...well you do the math....it hurt, even after 2 hours of numbing cream and ice packs...I felt like I was being tortured. To make it even worse, the tech was slow, but thorough, she did the black 2 times, with every snap I hear I feel pain as well as happiness, as I know the ink is breaking up!! I am home now, got my cozy wear on, and just made my super healing smoothie to boost my immune system and clear that ink!! I posted a pic of the main healing ingredients and thought I would share the benefits of them. The long list from left to right:

1) Chia Seeds - Rich in antioxidants & omega-3 fatty acids (studies suggest that omegas are not only great for physical health, but also mental health) detoxifies and reduces inflammation.
2) Vietnamese Cinnamon - Anti-Microbial Activity, anti-inflammatory, improves circulation. Note: Strictly for medicinal benefit, Vietnamese Cinnamon is chosen over other more common types of cinnamon due to the higher content, as well as the stronger nature of the oil naturally present.
3) Raw Honey (has not been pasteurized or filtered) tons of vitamins and minerals, contains natural antibiotics. I could go on and on about honey and bee pollen (which I usually add but am out of) It provides a boost of energy, which we all need after treatment, it helps heal wounds both internally and externally. The bees work so hard for us to provide such an amazing food, 1 worker bee produces 1/10 tsp in their life (awe..I know, and we take some of it... sigh) Buy local organic as those bees are treated fairly.
4) Goji Berries - Not just a sweet treat, been used medicinally in Tibet and China for thousands of years...it contains all essential amino acids, antioxidants & polysaccharides that help boost immune, high level of protein, loaded with vitamin C, high in fiber...and it's also an anti-inflammatory.
5) Kelp Powder - used for a dose of iodine, it's also a natural diuretic which helps flush out the body getting rid of toxins.
6) **Oil of Oregano - Among many things, it's antimicrobial and anti-parasitic, analgesic (which means naturally relieves pain) anti-inflammatory, aids in blood circulation, increases white blood cells, detoxes and protects the liver.
7)Tulsi Tea (aka Holy Basil) - purifies the blood and promotes kidney health (we need them to work very well as they remove waste and water from the blood), anti-stress,
8) Raw Hulled Hemp Seeds - One of natures perfect foods, love my hemp!! I could go on and on, but it provides protein, energy, helps recover from injury, reduces inflammation, improves circulation and boosts immune.
9) Hemp Protein Powder - no need to say, it's Hemp...right ;)
10) Aloe Vera Gel - A miracle food that is often overlooked as a weed. Among many things, it promotes healing and recovery from injury, anti-inflammatory, boosts oxygenation in your blood, provides with an abundance of vitamins and minerals, soothes and hydrates skin, and so much more!!

***Please note that I am not a certified nutritionist / expert, and expect that you do your own research before adding any of these foods to your diet.

Day 2 Post Session 9

Very sore today, this session was very aggresive. I could not stand my husband rubbing polysporin on the treated area so he bought be this Bactine Spray, which is amazing! It provides instand relief and a bit of numbing. Since you spray it, there is no irritation from rubbing it. I am going to use this from now on.

Session 9 Update

I am almost 3 weeks post treatment, so how are things going....slow :( I healed up just fine, but I am having signs of scar tissue forming and that is making me worry, bummer, also I have some redness that remains, which means burnt skin, double bummer. Ok, so what are my next steps...I am going to wait longer for my next treatment, 6 weeks is not enough, I am going to wait it out for at least 8-10 weeks, I am going to use tea tree oil to help reduce the scar tissue, this was a tip given to me by my tattoo artists who said that it drastically reduced his scar tissue from a tattoo, he mentioned that as Tea Tree oil is strong, mix it with a natural moisturizer and apply 2 times daily. He was very supportive towards the potential of a successful cover up and cautions me of attempting full removal due to damage to the skin. I am going to tell them to turn the laser down next treatment as well. I have also started treated the area with acupuncture (I get it for free from my husband), this will aid in healing, and reduce scar tissue as well. The good news, my artist is 100% confident that I will have a beautiful cover up, he thinks I will need 3 more laser sessions max. He said to wait a min of 6 months between my last laser session and the cover up. I am in no rush, I am not going anywhere, hopefully just the tattoo is!! I will post a photo later tonight or tomorrow once I get one taken. Hope all is great with everyone!! Oh, I wanted to add, a dear friend of my sent me a wonderful tank top and I wore it today and part of the tattoo stuck out, that same person told me that I will start to feel better about this if I just try to expose it rather than focusing on hiding it. Well, she was correct, she also suggested that by showing it allows an open conversation and the opportunity for others to learn about tattoo removal - today was the perfect example of that, 2 people asked me lots of questions, were very positive towards my situation and was so glad they had the opportunity to ask me.

Session 9 Photo

I am approaching 4 weeks post treatment. Things are healing well, but there is evidence of scar tissue building, and lasting redness...I am not going to go to my next appointment on Oct. 26th. I am going to lay low for awhile until I decide how to proceed.
Thanks so much for all your continued support :)

Photo Update

I see additional fading and the bumbs has all gone down. There are some visible scars, and lightning of the skin, but it is what it is.

Actual photo..sorry

I hit submit too fast, sorry

Session 9 update

Hello Everyone, it's been awhile since my last update, I had nothing to really report as I took a break from treatments. I am now post 12 weeks session 9 and am "ok" with my results so far. Like many of you ( I read every review I possibly can) I understand the up and down days all to well. This really is a tough thing to go through. This community has given me strength to continue on and I am so thankful to each and everyone of you who take the time to share their story and show support.....so what are my next steps...I think I am ready for session #10 - I refuse to give up and will fight this thing until it is no longer possible. I may ask for a less aggressive treatment, maybe have them turn down the laser and I may only treat parts of it, the denser black and color. Any thoughts you want to share are welcome :) And don't worry, I try my best not to take anything negative too personal, it is what it is, I got a crappy tattoo. I have attached a photo. Hang in there everyone and do something fun to take your mind off your worries.

Been thinking....

Hey everyone, I have a few thoughts I wanted to share, as I continue to go through the process of laser removal and support others going through the same. I read so many stories daily, not only in the Tattoo Removal community but in other laser communities as well, such as: Fraxel, C02, ActiveFX ...and so on. Each situation may be different but often times when something doesn't go as expected the emotional result is the same. Every time I read a story that speaks about the feelings of depression and anxiety it resonates with me in such a powerful way. I understand the regret, the shame, embarrassment..sadness and so on, however I have come a long way in my progress dealing with the emotional burdens that attach instanty to us like a Burdock Burr in the forest. I have learned that with continual effort and focus you can release these feelings -eventually releasing the burr and grow as as they do when released again in nature. It may hurt and take some time, but eventually it does let go. I have come to accept my situation as many of you have as well. I won't deny that I still have moments where my negative thoughts resurface like a faint stain on your favorite T-shirt that you are just about to throw on, but I can decide if I want to wear the shirt or choose another one- I have the power to change my thoughts and remind myself that I am fortunate that this is my only real challenge in life so far...a tattoo. Remaining in the negative state is much like being in a mental prison, so many of you have mentioned you hide behind clothing, you're glad winter has arrived, you don't socialize as much.... and then I wonder who are we hiding from... and why? Isn't this just like an emotional prison?! I admit that I don't flaunt my tattoo, but I don't care anymore if it sticks out, and I welcome summer and look forward to my date with the sun and sand. I encourage you (as a kahelelani encouraged me) to step out of hiding, unlock the prison you keep yourself in and enjoy your wonderful life! The question for me always remains...who are we hiding from? Do you really care if someone passes a judgement on you? Who has that right and who is it for someone else to say we should or shouldn't have a tattoo, or get Fraxel laser, or whatever other procedure we undergo. Now, don't get me wrong, I understand not wanting to throw on a Holiday dress and flashing your half lasered tattoo to the world, but you can still go out and look just as beautiful as you always have with the tattoo!! What's stopping you, why would you give that power to someone else??!! I know how it feels to loose yourself in this, to lose your confidence, but I also know how it feels to get it all back! I recently started teaching again, I volunteer at the local YMCA and I teach bootcamps and spin class...my first class was last Monday and it felt amazing to get out there again...my husband said to me when I got home "You are standing so tall" nobody knows my tattoo is there, nobody knows what I am going through, and you know what..I don't think they really care...they enjoyed my class, they liked me and if I took off my shirt and said "hey check this out" do you think they will never come to my class again? I have said this so many times before this darn tattoo does not define who you are, it does not stop you from doing anything you want to do, you are the one stopping yourself...you have the power to change your thoughts and in turn you will see a change in your life. Sorry for the long post, but I just want to encourage anyone still struggling that you can turn this around. I want you to enjoy the holiday season and look forward to the new year that is approaching, embrace who you are, challenges and all! Thank you all so much for sharing your stories, for continuing to support each other daily, it's truly inspiring!! I wish each of you a wonderful holiday season filled with celebration and love.

Interested in a New Years challenge anyone??

I was thinking tonight about doing a 30 day raw food cleanse. Its a great way to boost your immune system and I always feel my best when I eat mainly raw vegan foods....so I thought that the new year is always the best time to kick off a new challenge and was hoping some of my RS friends would join me. If you are up for it post a comment and ill share some resources to help you get started. Sending you all happy wishes for the new year!!

For All of you, have a listen

Happy New Year, this song is for all you, it's so uplifting...enjoy!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02Fq3u5XyCg

Here's to 2014! No looking back ;)

Are you ready?

Welcome 2014!!! It's this time of year we look at new beginnings, it can be overwhelming and magical all at the same time. This is your opportunity to make some positive changes, pack a new "bag" fill it with the tools you need for success, include a mental map of the journey you want your life to take...Don't allow the negative experiences/lessons of the past hold you back...just go for it! In an earlier post I sent an expression of interest to join me in a 30 day Raw Food challenge-(this is at your own risk and if you have any concerns please follow up with your health care provider)I have received some interest, and will get those people started, however feel free to jump in whenever you want, there really are no rules...this is just a means to get us all on the track to better health, which in turn will boost our immune system and help fade away our tattoos, along with boosting our overall well being. You will have more energy, happiness, sleep better..and so on- although the first few days to a week you may experience a strong detox effect, in which you may feel a little sick...drink lots of water, green juices, and herbal tea - along with lots of rest...there are some things you can take to aid the toxins out.. but you should be fine. As your body becomes more alkalized (not acidic) you will begin to feel better. Your goal is to achieve a neutral pH balance (7) I like to call pH - Perfect Health. To help achieve your goal to perfect health I will share some info to help get you started and I will send you some links in your PM inbox, as well as post motivational updates ( I hope others join in) even if you don't do the full 30, try 7 days. Lets start Sunday Jan. 4th, this will allow everyone time to prepare...you can do some research, and allow you time to shop for the foods you need. You don't need many fancy tools to eat raw..the basic staples are: food processor, blender, Juicer (you can use your blender so don't worry) lots of storage containers to keep prepped foods in the fridge...it's so much easier to pre- prep so you can grab what you need. A dehydrator is a bonus, but not necessary. So in a nutshell what is a Raw Food Diet...whole, fresh, unprocessed - minimally heated food. I will send you some links to my favorite recipes but the web is loaded with them, and library's carry raw food books too. Your staple foods (to name a few) will be your greens (Kale, Spinach, collards..etc) fruit, fresh herbs and spices, Nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts etc..) and Seeds (pumpkin, quinoa, hemp etc), Coconut - dried, filtered water, Oils (Coconut Oil, Olive Oil) Sea veggies are amazing - Kelp Noodles if you can find them, Nori sheets. Oh zucchini's are a huge bonus, so grab em when you see them! Your local health food store or grocery store will have everything you need, just try and keep it organic. Are you excited, let's do this!!!

One day away...

For those of you joining in on the Raw Food Challenge we are one day away from kick off! I'm excited because I know that you are going to feel great and appreciate the benefits!! (Canadagirl75 get your Vitamix ready!!) I have sent some links to your inbox so be sure to check them out, hopefully you all got a chance to watch the movie links - those were some of the first movies I watched to spark my interest into raw foods. I love to eat, and I love sweets...so you will see that with raw foods you don't have to restrict yourself and count calories..and you can still have treats. Some benefits will be faster healing after your laser treatments, a sense of well-being - I emphasize the well being because I believe strongly that we are what we eat and there is s mind - gut connection...that's why when we are stressed we can overeat or not eat, we get butterflys when we are nervous, bad foods effect your thoughts and make you sluggish and loose mental focus ..I could go on and on! Your immune system is going to thank you as it can focus on getting rid of the ink rather than having to deal with all the toxin that enter our body through processed foods. I think have set the tone for the reason we are doing this, and I want you to be excited, not stressed about a challenge...think of it as an exciting way to try some new foods, share with your friends, have a raw food potluck, get your family and friends involved..you will be surprised at how tasty these foods are...I love raw cinnamon buns, kale chips, raw burgers...you are not going be just eating salads...use your imagination and if you discover a wonderful recipe please share it with us :) For some other news, I got a new tattoo last night, a beautiful flower of life Mandela on my ribs (I'll post a photo in a bit) I love it!! It's my start to a new beautiful year! 

Raw food Challenge Kick Off and New tattoo :)

Just a note to say that your Raw Food Challenged started today (sorry for the late post I was so busy today, had to teach 3 classes in a row as no instructor showed up) I did all my shopping on Saturday...I even took a pic :). I have also attached a photo of my new tattoo.
So for those of you joining in on the fun...let's kick off!

Checking in ...

Just wanted to check in and let you know where I am at in the process of my removal, and ask for some feedback. I am really noticing some scarring forming, mostly on the outline of the tattoo. My removal was a difficult one, very dark dense ink...I really am thinking cover up and have been given the green light by multiple artists....I don't want to rush anything..thoughts...would I be crazy? I didn't push the Raw Food Challenge, it's certainly is not for everyone, but for those who gave it a try I hope you saw some benefits from it. It's my lifestyle, and works well for me, I am not 100% raw, 80/20 ...and I learned recently that eating according to your blood type really matters. With me being type A, it makes sense that I am vegan....but the point is, eat the healthiest way you can to boost your immune system and keep your body happy and balanced. Remember the foods you choose to put into your body will impact your energy levels, your immune system - your health short and long term. It's just like your car, the higher quality gas you use the better it runs. The community continues to grow, and I am so proud that everyone takes the time to share and support eachother. I would love for you to check out other communities on the site, such as Fraxel Laser: http://www.realself.com/Fraxel-Laser/restore/reviews they are an amazing group with very much the same support needed as there are some people who have had bad results and feel like they have damaged their life as their face didn't react well to the laser - I would love to see you share your support with them. I am truly inspired by each of you and cannot thank you enough for keeping the flame going in this community.

Checking in

Nothing much to report as I have not had any new treatments, however I will say that my tattoo continues to fade daily - I truly stress not rushing this treatment, let yourself heal and allow your body to cleanse the ink. As I read through each and every review that is posted in this community it takes me back to the days when I never thought I could move past this. I have moved way beyond this, and for those of you who have just been thrown into the ice cold waters of regret, you will jump back out ready to take on the world again. I know this. I have felt so empowered to continue to work on my inner peace and contentment. This situation brought me closer to my spirituality and I realized that every challenge or event that we are faced with in life assists the evolution of our souls. Once you realize and accept what has happened as not necessarily a bad thing rather could be a life changing positive event that teaches you something.

It's official, my laser treatments are complete and my cover up has begun.

Hello everyone :) Well I was going to wait till I had a few more tattoo sessions behind me but I thought with all this cover up talk in the community and the interest in what I was up to that I would let the cat out of the bag. I decided to go ahead with the cover up after months of considering it and confirming with multiple artists I was good to go. I decided to go with a very talented artist who has been my husbands artist for the last 5 years. She clearly understood my wants and the history of this mess, so I fully trusted her and connected with her which is extremely important. So, first off, I am shocked at how little this is looking like a cover up! I am thrilled so far! I have had 2 sittings so far, the first being the phoenix which only a little of the wing is covering the old, and then the lotus and a beautiful Mandala outline. I am feeling a little on the heavy side right now so not willing to show my whole back :( sorry, just need to drop a good 15 pounds...lol. Here is a sneak peak at the cover-up. Keep in mind this is a process so once it all comes together it will look much better. The filler will be filigree.

Making progress!!!

I had another 3 hour session on my cover up! I love love love it and am sharing a sneak peak! I have a long way to go but as with the removal process you must be patient and the results will come. I also love the relationship that I have with my artist, she is wonderful and listens to exactly what I want, I am not looking for perfection just something that I connect to and love and feel that she is able to create the art that is an expression of me. I know many of you are waiting for your breakthroughs to happen and may be feeling frustrated, but just hang in there, the breakthrough will happen ...whether you are working towards full removal or a cover up, that moment will come. I look at this process as my mountain...as I work towards my goal (top of my mountain) I may loose site of the peak and may feel frustrated but then I turn another corner and can see the peak again and continue moving up to the top. Just keep taking the steps forward, stay positive and most importantly be happy.

On a side note, I must apologize to someone who has sent me a private message asking for smoothie recipes, I got a bit behind in my inbox and can't seem to find it, please resend if you read this ;)

A Quick Hello

Thought I would check in and say hello. Things have been going really well with me, my cover up is healing perfectly, I do need a few touch ups in the lotus, but that is completely expected. I am trying to book in for this week for more work, if I don't get in I will take the next appointment. I can't express in words what a relief it is to finally have my life back, to not be consumed with the regret, to be able to throw on whatever I want and not care what others think. Don't think that people still don't judge me, I am certain they do, such as life, but the fact that I don't give a darn is all that matters. People can look at me, think what they want, I have learned that it is them that has to deal with that issue. I wanted you all to know that I think of your stories often and even though I have never met any of you, I think of you, and I believe that putting good thoughts out into the universe will help you, so I do that often, when I have dedicated many yoga practices to you all and I will continue to do so.

Another Session Complete - but not laser ;)

My cover up is coming along, I had another session last night, I started to fill in the wing and I am thrilled with the color scheme. I have a long way to go, hours of work ahead of me but I am enjoying the journey.
My inspirational thought for you is that we should not allow past experiences to limit us, everyday is a new beginning.

More Work Done!

Hello everyone! Can you believe it's the fall already! Well, I have been busy working on my cover up, such a long process. So much more to go!! Here is a snapshot of what's going on recently...keep in mind that there are touch ups needed (i.e. in the mandala) shading and more work to be added...etc...it's really a big project! We will be adding another lotus under the bottom wing and embellishments with some additional stuff around the tale...fun fun! And then for the ribs, OMG - I am scared...it's going to hurt. So here is where I am at so far.

Photo's of Cover up

Hey there, Here are some additional photos of my back piece. These are the ones the Artist took and posted on her facebook. I had another session yesterday but those photos are not out yet, but will post when she does. The session last night hurt so bad I almost left half way through, but I persevered, I just want to get this finished. When she tattoos over the lasered part is hurts really really bad and that is what we did mostly. She did use some Bactine to ease the pain and it helped, but she ran out so I had to sit half way through with none. I will numb for next session. I am dreading the ribs! Tell me what you think. 

Advantage Laser Clinic

Internet - they are an excellent clinic, very friendly and make you feel so comfortable during treatment.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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This is an amazing process and journey, coming from an individual who disliked their tattoo so much that it affected their sense of self. And now, like a lotus coming up from the dark mud, a stunning blossom emerges and opens. Although there might be some who continue to dislike their ink, and simply want it removed, there is always hope. We are not defined by our ink, but rather who we are. aloha...k
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Thank you :) It's hard to believe how far I have come in the process....it feels like yesterday that I was sitting in my living room trying to figure out what to do next when the regret set in. I am much more comfortable in my own skin now and have grown so much mentally through this process. Thanks for your support K. 
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Wow the cover up is coming out great (: Everything is coming together for you. Are you still having laser treatments over your tattoo or is it light enough to cover up? God Bless.
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Thanks so much! No, my treatments ended at session 9 which was Dec. 2013 and it's already all covered. 
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Your story is very interesting....I enjoyed following the journey you took, and the honesty with which you wrote. It looks as though the end results are beautiful. Just curious as to what made you choose laser removal rather than a wrecking balm or straight out cover-up....the original work looked light enough to just cover sans alkyl those painful and costly laser sessions. Just curious as to what factors led you to choose the path you chose as to a simpler path. Beautiful work.
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Thank you :) The tattoo before any laser treatments was very dark and in no way could have been covered up, after my research the only option for me was laser removal. 
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That's completely understandable and I'm sure those laser treatments played a huge part in how beautiful your work ended up looking. Gorgeous work....your story and the way in which you detailed from start to now is one if amazing dedication to creating the exact art you wanted. Enjoyed reading it.
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Thank you :)
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I think it is BEAUTIFUL! :-) And wish i could comfort you, but i dont want to lie, the ribs will hurt like a b.... Good luck with the session, be brave!
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Thank you so much GreatDane, I am really happy with it! I am gearing up for another session..yikes! I will be using Mr. Numb. 
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Very nice! I love, love, love the colors. The lines are fantastic. I can't wait to see the final piece! I've heard the ribs are painful to tattoo but I'm sure you'll endure!
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Thank you so much! I am terrified to work on the ribs...oh my gosh!
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Very nice, I want to see bigger photos! :)
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Thanks, I added more, hope that's better. 
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It looks incredible!
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Can't wait for new (and bigger) pictures of your coverup! :) Looks really nice!
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Thanks, I will be posting one very soon :) I had another session about a week ago and it's coming along really nice!
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I got a tattoo a few weeks ago and was feeling the same agony and regret you were feeling. I was so angry at myself. I have come to terms with it and realized that people make mistakes, we are not perfect. There are options such as tattoo removal by laser treatment if I want. I have decided to live with it for a while. I have gotten used to it and don't feel so self conscious about it anymore. Like you said, who cares what other people think. It is on my upper back and it is a cross. The artist made it very dark and added all this shading that I did not want. I, like you, was beating myself up about it. I realized that it wasn't the end of the world and there is hope should I decide to get it lasered off. It was cool that you shared your story. I think a lot of people have gone through the regret of a tattoo they don't like. Your story will give people hope. I am glad you are happy with your new tattoo. Very pretty.
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I'm in the same situation as you are, brand new tattoo but it's all wrong. My artist also made it very dark which was totally the opposite (I asked for it to be so light that you could barely see it). I return to read this story every now and then, especially now that my situation is all new and scary and hers is rather inspirational. All the best to you, I hope your days will be full of sunlight. :)
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Sorry you are not happy with your tattoo. You are so right, we are not perfect and you do have options, that's a great attitude to have.
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Thanks Birdo :)
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Hey there Micheee, how are you feeling? Sorry you are not happy with your tattoo but glad you have come to terms with the fact the mistakes happen - you are right, nobody is perfect, well said! Have you decided if you are going to start laser treatment?
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It looks beautiful I hope we can see the larger picture soon! ;) So glad for you.
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Thanks, I am thrilled with it, got some more work done, mostly just touch ups...once healed I will post. Feeling great about it!
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Simply ahhhh mazing! :) Very happy for you!
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