LOSING a breast to cancer made Jeni Stewart feel incomplete.
So when the 58-year-old was offered breast reconstruction she gladly accepted.
And Jeni, of Brookside Close, Denmead, said she only felt whole again after she had a tattoo to complete the procedure.
Portsmouth Breast Friends – a support group for women who have or have had cancer – donated £5,000 to Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham, to fund a new tattoo machine.
It helps to give a reconstructed nipple a more natural colour after a mastectomy.
Jeni was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006 after finding a lump in her right breast.
She said: ‘At first I had surgery to remove the tumour, then my lymph nodes before a mastectomy.’
Jeni said that life after her surgery was difficult.
‘Even though you can wear clothes to hide it, there are certain times when you can’t, like when you’re in the shower,’ she added.
‘And that’s so awful, in the summer you’re restricted with what you can wear, so I knew I wanted to have reconstruction.
‘I had several procedures to get the breast reconstruction right and I felt amazing.
‘Having my breast back made me feel complete, but there was still the nipple.
‘When that was done my confidence was rebuilt and my femininity.
‘Hopefully with this new machine more woman can feel the way I do after having reconstruction.’
Constantinos Yiangou, chief of surgery and cancer services, said: ‘It’s traumatic when a woman loses her breast. When we remove the breast we remove the nipple too. This causes physical, physiological and emotional strain, which is why the machine is so vital.
‘We thank them for their donation.’