A few days ago I was hanging out with my friend and photographer Katie www.kathrynhastings.com when she suggested we do an impromptu photoshoot to capture where I am now.
It was 11am on a weekday. I had to leave in 8 minutes to pick up my youngest child from preschool and her 3 year old son was playing with his toys on the floor nearby. Since we are both professionals (her a professional photographer and me a professional hairless person), we made it happen.
She grabbed her camera and lenses, I whipped off my hat and shirt and away we went. Envision a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition photoshoot on a beach in the Maldives. Now wipe every semblance of that memory from your mind and picture whatever the opposite of that may be and you have our little photo session.
When she sent me the photos later that day, I was shocked. I could not believe they were photos of me. No way I looked like that. The woman in the photos was so sick looking. She was sallow, covered in scars and sprouting hair in odd configurations. The photos caused me to audibly gasp. I have been feeling so vital recently! How can this be what the world sees when they look at me?!
I swore I would never show them to anyone. They were too real. Usually when I receive Katie’s proofs I send them to everyone I know because they are so very beautiful. These looked like crime scene photos. Certainly not on her part, it was more that the subject looked like an SVU victim.
Cut to waking up this morning. I looked over to my husband and said, ‘did he…?’ He said, ‘yes, he did’. I started to cry. I suddenly felt like the girl in the photos. Sick to my stomach, deflated, scared and filled with sorrow.
I am hesitant to go into my deep and penetrating feelings on the election. I am scared to open those floodgates and I also would like my blog to remain a safe place free of divisive politics so let me just say this: I am extremely disappointed and worried about the decision made last night. My acute fears circle around the choices a new Supreme Court lineup could make, namely women’s reproductive rights as well as maintaining adequate healthcare for my fellow cancer sufferers who have benefitted so greatly from Obamacare.
I could go on and on and on and on and on about my fears and disappointment as an American right now, but I am in a delicate place in my life where I have to heal. I cannot allow my worries to take over my mind and possibly cause enough stress to promote the growth of cancer cells.
The new President-Elect will be able to control many things in my life, but he will not be permitted to take away my burgeoning health.
The country will continue to divide, but mark my words, my cancer cells, will not.
These photos show who I am right now. This is the real me. This is the woman who wished so badly for the glass ceiling to be shattered. This is ME and I refuse to be ashamed of that.