Matthew 5:30 Tattoo Made Reality

I posted a couple of these photos to Zentastic when I got home from the hospital last night, but I thought I’d post the full set here. As you know, last year I found out that I had a bone tumor in my right leg just below the knee that was starting to affect my mobility as well as having caused about twenty years of chronic pain. After the biopsy was done, I had Chino tattoo Matthew 5:30 in script above it to help me deal with it —

Matthew 5:30    And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

I find that “physicalizing the way I’m feeling” helps me to deal with things that are emotionally or intellectually upsetting to me, I think because it makes them tangible in a way that gives me symbols to think about them with, even though of course nothing has really changed. That said, I’m also a bit of a narcissit, haha, so one of the things I was really hoping was that I’d be able to get a surgical photo of this tattoo during the procedure of removing the tumor, because it was so appropriate. Anyway, the doctors were kind enough to snap a number of great photos of the procedure!

That’s an after photo; here are a few others from the procedure:

Everything seems to be healing really well by the way, although it’s just been a few days.

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About Shannon Larratt

Shannon Larratt is the founder of BME (1994) and its former editor and publisher. After a four year hiatus between 2008 and 2012, Shannon is back adding his commentary to ModBlog. It should be noted that any comments in these entries are the opinion of Shannon Larratt and may or may not be shared by LLC or the other staff or members of BME. Entry text Copyright © Shannon Larratt. Reproduced under license by LLC. Pictures may be copyright to their respective owners. You can also find Shannon at Zentastic or on Facebook.

111 thoughts on “Matthew 5:30 Tattoo Made Reality

  1. Wow. So glad that you are doing okay!! Hope the healing continues in a super positive direction. And I just have to ask.. did they let you keep part of the tumor?

  2. It’s funny that some people see this and think cozy alien cave and others can’t stand to look at it.

    I really like the beauty and delicateness of the tattoo in contrast with the gruesomeness of the incision.

    Glad you’re doing good and hope you continue to be well.

  3. Tha main picture and the third picture remind me of the beautiful book “Atlas of Human Anatomy Through Invasive Surgery”. That book is full of amazing photographs from various surgical procedures; truly stunning stuff.

    I’m glad everything went well for you.

  4. Haha, I actually thought off a cave to, maby not a alien one, but still a cave ^^
    Hope the healing goes well!

  5. is it wrong i kind of want to poke that? it looks kind of ewwy but i want to touch it. hope all the healing goes well.

  6. I’m not really bothered by the blood and such, I rather like the photos with the contrast between the tattoo script’s delicateness and the gaping hole (just as manini said).

    I hope the healing continues well, and you can soon say goodbye to the pain.

  7. I’ll be honest, I had no idea that that’s what it looked like on the inside of a leg, and I’ve watched plenty of surgical shows.

    I would’ve never guessed that somebody would take pictures for you during a surgical procedure. Did they have to sterilize your camera? haha

  8. I’m not going to lie to you, the first thing that I said when I saw that main photo was “COOL.”

    Glad to hear the healing is going well, thanks for keeping us updated :)

  9. that’s awesome the doctors took pictures for you.

    i hope the rest of your recovery goes well!

  10. Now if only I had thought to ask my dentist to take some snapshots whilst doing my root canal yesterday! Haha. Just kidding. Glad everything went ok for you. I think it’s brilliant that you’ve got some pictures to look back at, especially with such a meaningful tattoo sitting nicely above. Philosophically gross.

  11. Glad that you’re doing okay! Those were some pretty nice pictures. I hope that your health problems resolve quickly!!

  12. Glad everything seems to be going okay! :) I really should not have come here while I was eating, the immediate shock of seeing that picture made me kinda lose my appetite but then once I stared at it more it wasn’t so bad, and it definitely looks like some sort of cave haha

  13. Not sure if too many doctors would agree to take photos! Thank you for sharing them, it’s a very interesting story that you have. Best of luck and love for you during your recovery. :)

  14. Welcome back Shannon… I thought of you when I was in Toronto…then I got scared by a bum and went back to Niagara…
    I’m a big pussy.

  15. glad things went ok during the op! i’ve never seen the inside of a leg before… it looks so hollow! hope everyhting goes well with your recovery

    sheldo x

  16. at first glance, i thought “WHAT THE FUCK, GROSS.” but then became hypnotized by the gaping wound and now i just think it’s pretty effing neat, especially that the doctors were nice enough to take the photos. either way, glad you’re doing swell!

  17. That’s one badass tumour, as far as tumours go.

    I agree with everyone above, the doctors were pretty cool to do that.

  18. I’m so happy to read that everything went well!! Those doctors took some badass photos! Hope you have a speedy recovery!

  19. those are some of the best pics i’ve ever seen snapped casually. one of those surgeons must fancy himself an amateur photographer. thanks for posting them, & glad you’re doing so well, shannon.

  20. i really like this. i’m thinking about getting a scriptural tat, and i like this one..

    oh, and the sweet surgical pics are a plus.

  21. Damn.. those are some shots. But I hear ya’ on getting something to symbolize it. I got hit by a car on my scooter and broke my femur in two so I got a tattoo of my femur halves and the little piece that is floating around. I’m still recovering but I’m getting there. Hope the surgery was a complete success.

  22. I really think that the picture of the scar afterwards with the tattoo above is beautiful. Congratulations! And good luck healing successfully.

  23. Glad you’re doing alright fella, those photos are beautifully composed given the nature of it…. maybe Mr anesthesiologist has a 2nd career in the making.

  24. Am I going to be the first to say “It’s not a too-maaah!”? Haha, guess so. Glad that you’re healing well Shannon :)

  25. wow, your doctor is quite the photographer! I like that he got a shot with little strands of flesh being pulled on both sides. It makes a nice picture. And im glad you could make something positive of your surgery :)

  26. THIS IS AWESOME. not so awesome that you had the tumor in the first place, but definitely really cool that you have some nice, clear pictures from the procedure. i just really appreciate this kind of stuff.. when i was a kid i used to watch those live surgeries they used to air on PBS. my favorite was when they replaced a woman’s knee cartilage, which had worn away over the years, with like a plastic thing. reeally cool.

  27. Those are great shots, I love how they stretched the nerves out to protect them (I assume they’re nerves). Glad it’s healing well!

  28. What happened to the draping, shaving, and iodine? Isn’t that standard procedure? Whatever the case, I hope it heals quickly and completely. So glad to hear everything went as planned.

  29. it’s like train-wreak syndrome.. it’s pretty gross, so you want to look away. yet it’s so gruesome and fascinating at the same time.

    it totally amazes me how beautiful the body is on the outside, smooth and even, and then when you actually see inside, it’s very complex and made up of SO many different kinds of tissues and whatnot… it’s weird to know that such a beautiful body is so… horrifying (for lack of better word) on the inside.

    good luck with healing, Shannon, i hope everything goes well for you!!

  30. Hope you get all better and stuff soon Shannon – was wondering when the op was…

    and heh, if you do loose the ability to walk, you’ll just *have* to spend more time with the lovely people of ModBlog…

    in all seriousness though, I hope they’re giving you some damn good painkillers!

  31. I suppose I should be really revolted by this and want to look away, but I can’t…to me it’s fascinating! Lol! Hope you’re feeling better soon Shannon!!!

  32. thats fucking awesome! i love the way people’s insides look. tumors especially. i really hope this alleviates your pain brother. heal well

  33. Wow. Glad you’re doing better. Thaks for sharing pictures, very fascinating to see. I love the one with the scar right under the tattoo.

  34. Isa – They don’t shave for surgical procedures any more because they found that it increases the rates of post-operative infection, and there’s definitely iodine, it’s just not obvious in the photos…

  35. Shannon, surgical mods rock. :)

    Heres lotsa healing vibes your way. *vibes*.

    Hope she heals up nice and quick so you can be back on your feet.

    Rad pics too!!! its so cool they let you take them mid operation. Awesome.

  36. I wish I could have kept the lump — I asked them if I could but they said that they couldn’t due to followup analysis (I believe their exact words were “you know, CSI shit” — seriously) and medical waste disposal laws.

  37. We’re so glad you’re doing well, Shannon!!! Hope you heal fast and safe! :) :) Those are damn good pictures, by the way!! I love the lighting on the first picture.

  38. Glad to hear it went well, Shannon!! :-D
    I’m digging the pictures, and the fact that the doctor’s took them for you!

  39. Yuck!

    Actually it reminds me of, as a kid, my mother opened a big hole in her arm on a shard of broken pot (she had been washing dishes, dropped a big pot, and her arm fell and slashed on it) and so she had to gather us to go to the hospital to get it sewed.

    Before she was married she had a job as a medical illustrator, and so she was fascinated looking in there. My sister liked it too, they were saying “oh, my, look at the fat parts” and what. My father and I, just thought, we might faint. But I remember those little pearly bits… Eurgh :)

    All worked out well though, and hopefully it heals well for you too.

    Lately I suppose I have a “duelling scar” (got hit in the head and knocked across the room with a door, it’s leaving a big vertical mark across my eyebrow, I don’t really mind, which surprised those sewing it up). But no chunks gone.

    IF I needed bits removed, I too would want them. Ideally in a paperweight. I can sort of understand the biohazard argument, but… it’d be nice if they had a service they could seal it up and send it along later! With felt on the bottom…

  40. Wow, I’m usually totally squicked by surgery type photos, but this is somehow, artistic?
    Also: the first thing I thought when I saw these, was, “omg he’s so hardcore he refused anesthetic just so he could get these awesome shots!” haha!

  41. Wow, awesome shots, Shannon! I don’t know why but I find surgery pix to be so much cooler than DIY amputations.

    Heal well and quickly.

  42. although I tend to get very squeamish during things like this (I almost fainted in gr.11 bio when we did dissections!) I find this to be so interesting! Who knew the inside of a knee looked like that? That healed amazingly well! Good luck with your recovery!

  43. medical photos and the like are an unshakable obsession of mine, so this is like wank material for me. good health hopes, by the way.

  44. Wow, those are some amazing photos. Very awesome. Glad to hear you got through okay and are healing well :) I know you have to wait until you’re fully healed to be completely out of the woods, but I was wondering if this means you’ll likely be able to keep your leg now?

    I’m not Christian, but it’s very poignant to see the scripture above the wound like that. I wish you the best in your recovery!

  45. Wow. And ouch. It was really nice of the doctors to take these pictures cuz this really isn’t something you get to see often, especially with a great and appropriate tattoo like yours. I’m glad you’re doing well and best wicshes on a quick recovery.

  46. I think THIS one might be too explicit for a non-blurred picture. Don’t get me wrong, I was fascinated, but it might have been nice to have had a moment to prepare myself.

    Echoing the above sentiments, good to know you’re well. Hope that whole “20 years of chronic pain” thing is finally over.

    Also, you think you might make a diagram, to point out what’s what inside there?

  47. Ether – If you click the “tumor” link you can see a neat video of the CT scan they did on me last October (or whenever it was). It’s really interesting…

  48. ostechondroma?
    thats what i had… looks similar to me. and the 20 years of discomfort… yea, i have the discomfort still…
    but seriously, im glad everything went smoothly and you are okay.

  49. As I was reading modblog I started remembering that you were suppose to have surgery, then poof there is a post about your biopsy.

    Glad to here that your doing well. Take care.

  50. Wicked that they took photos for you.

    So glad you are out and healing well. You have been (and will continue to be) in my thoughts.

  51. Hope you’re feeling much better Shannon…. Did they shave your leg before the procedure? It looks like they have not which is a bit of a concern to me due to the possibility of infection.

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