TOWN HILL (NEWS CENTER Maine) -- Since beating breast cancer two years ago, Cora Fahy has struggled with the scarring on her breasts from numerous surgeries. A letter written to her "new" boobs was a humorous way to heal and let the pair know they were in for a surprise.
Fahy says she knew she didn’t want to undergo another surgery for nipple reconstruction. But when she looked at herself in the mirror she never truly felt like herself, she said her body looked foreign.
“I don't need a scar to remind me of the war I've been through,” Fahy wrote in her "Dear Boobs" letter. “It's imprinted on my brain and in my heart, I want to see something beautiful instead, a reminder of how I was.”
Her 'Dear Boobs' letter quickly became a therapeutic device. She was able to express her inner most feelings in a way that would make people laugh and lift their spirits. This form of healing was inspired by a fellow survivor who created the 'Dear Boobs Project'. A woman who Cora would personally meet -- you can check out her blog post for a closer look at the trip and other things she is up to.
“I thought if I could just cover up those scars I would feel whole again,” she said. “That’s the big thing for me is to be able to look in the mirror and not see those scars, and not see the cancer but see something beautiful.”
She received a lot of support and ideas from social media. She was particularly inspired by women who got beautiful mastectomy tattoos.
Cora did some research and was connected with Town Hill tattoo artist Katie Dube. The two quickly learned they had a special connection. Dube's father died after being diagnosed with breast cancer and her mother, aunt and grandmother were all survivors.
"She’s intimately aware of what I’ve gone through so I knew she would get it and she would get me," Fahy said. "I gave her all my ideas and I didn't know what to expect, but what she came up with is just me."
"It suits you," Dube said. "It's not so much a word as it is a feeling."
The design consists of a beautiful floral pattern with leaves and a hidden piece of humor -- a flying pig. An anecdote between she and a close friend that still makes her laugh when she shares the story. The design will eventually be shaded in with pinks and greens -- artwork that is as bold and beautiful as the woman displaying it.
Though Cora is feeling stronger and more like herself everyday, she says it wasn't always like that.
"In today's society we think of our beauty as our beautiful hair, our breasts, how we look, our figure -- so when I knew I was losing my breast and I knew I was losing my hair I thought oh my God I’m going to be butt ugly," Fahy said referring to when she first started losing her hair -- but then she saw her reflection. "I actually took a selfie and I put it on Facebook and I had never felt as beautiful in my whole life as I did that day -- I thought oh my God I am not my hair I am not my boobs I am a beautiful person with or without those."
Since her diagnosis and treatment Cora says social media and other resources played a huge role in her recovery. Including the 'Pink Runway Project' and NEWS CENTER Maine's 'Buddy to Buddy' campaign.
RELATED: Buddy to Buddy: Cora's Story
Cora says she hopes her story will inspire other women and men to find their own path when it comes to overcoming breast cancer. She wants people to remember there is more than one option and everyone's story is different.
"People go through life wondering what’s my purpose in life like why am I here and since I’ve gone through this I don’t feel like I need to ask that anymore," Fahy said. "I feel like I’ve found my purpose of my purpose is to try to get back and try to help women who are going through the same thing I’ve gone through."