A month or so ago I wrote about my new normal which is ever evolving as I put my body through the effects of poisonous injections. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer and was given options for treatment I consciously made the choice, by the advice of doctors, to fill my body with fluids that will run through my veins and kill anything that is a growing cell. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention there are ~650,000 cancer patients a year who have also opted for this type of treatment. They are all living their own battle and elected to utilize western medicine to take on the growth in their body which if not stopped could stop their journey in its tracks. I clearly know that I am in the company of many and all the while I still wonder if I would have made this choice if I would have been more educated on cancer, treatment options, statistics, and so on. Would I have opted to poison my otherwise healthy 34-year body? It is not fair to myself to look back now and regret, it would only lend me to be angry, regretful or confused. Rather than questioning whether or not I made the right decision, which was confirmed by multiple hospitals and a panel of doctors, I have decided I will become more educated on my lifestyle and continuous treatment options for my future. In the meantime, my current treatment plan continues…
At the beginning of chemo I took as many choices as I could into my control, like shaving
my head, and now the choice of how my body is impacted by the treatment is gone. I did not receive my last treatment on Wednesday, rather I had the lowest platelet counts by far and my red and white blood cell counts were nothing to write home about. My body is thankfully operating as normal on 1/3 or less that what is considered normal. I felt good going in, I knew I was tired but nothing like some days prior, I was confident I was going to get my last treatment and be done with the worst of the poison. While disappointed, I was better prepared and walked out looking forward to next week and the next chance to finish up. Luckily I have my parents and brother in town to keep me busy while we wait for the next chance. There is nothing different I can do to push my body to regenerate itself and get strong enough to complete this leg of treatment and so I must accept the continued loss of control and patiently wait…not my strong suit!
Something I am in control of is how I document, share and memorialize this time in my life. I am surrounded by family and friends who have helped me feel confident in my skin no matter how my looks have changed.
Seeing myself in the mirror without hair, near loss of my eyebrows, thinning eyelashes and a port scar under my collar bone made me want to document this look. I recently saw a photo of a Nashville woman on Instagram (@sparty_ang) and contacted the photographer Rachel Potter who quickly responded to my request and found a way to truly capture how I look and feel today, stripped down, real, and accepting a love of my true self.
Here I am stripped down, impacted by the poison, I see myself naked of everything I had come to know as who I was and found that our soul is what we need to feed and love. I share this photos with you in hopes that you also can see and love yourself no matter the day, with or without makeup, heavy or thin, old or young, happy or sad, healthy or fighting for health; just you as you are today.
Choose Joy, Choose Love, Choose You!