Now let me preface this post with yes, it has been a ridiculously long time since I have written a blog post and yes I know I need to do them more, and am looking forward to the down season and rainy days so I can sit and write about all my wonderful, amazing, and loving clients – they are actually why I sit and write this post.
I love October – it’s my favorite month btw. It is when fall weather really sets in. The temperatures cool, the wind comes in, leaves fall and rustle on the ground with the breeze. There is Halloween and costumes which I love as well and it is of course Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
And in this October it has been one of the craziest and most hectic past few weeks. I had my first unhappy client and that sucked. It just plain sucked. I felt like I had gotten the wind kicked out of me. It wasn’t about the quality of the images but the delivery system I use, still sucked. And I had to “break up” with my first client as well – that took a lot for me as a people pleaser but the type-A personality in me was having panic attacks on time frames.
But out of all the chaos of the past few weeks there was a gem of something great in my personal life.
Now for the people who know me and the clients who have become friends know I pretty much will jabber with you all day but there are some things I just don’t like to talk about like personal health unless I feel it might help someone with their own struggle and I even got really upset with a good friend for telling people information you are about to read. I felt like my choice had been taken away from me, my privacy taken away, and I felt even more vulnerable and I didn’t feel supported. I didn’t like friends coming up and asking me what was going on let alone complete strangers that were their friends and people i didn’t even know. Well, tonight I am going to open up and let myself be vulnerable. Not for pity or sympathy because I hope I don’t get that, I had a good experience (yes good even after you read everything), but because I want you all to know where this offer comes from.
This is gonna be long – grab a drink.
About 10 months ago, during a self breast exam at home I found two lumps. I’m 28, I’ve been precancerous for cervical cancer before and have had it biopsied. My grandmother had a a mastectomy in her forties, there have been numerous boughs of Cancer with friends and family and I along with so many of you all have lost people to it. I am also 28 and do regular self exams. These are my breasts and I knew I wasn’t being paranoid, these lumps should not be belonging to me.
I am also self-employed, running my business which I am so lucky to do because of all of you. But along with that and keeping costs low it not having health insurance. But I also have one of the most amazing mothers with an absolutely amazing friend who has survived breast cancer and I love her to pieces. Together they found that the Susan G. Komen foundation provides services at no charge to make sure young women have the treatment they need to diagnose and fight the stupid C word.
They sent me to a wonderful doctor – I will gladly tell anyone to go to her – and then it was onto radiology for an ultrasound where they confirmed the two lumps and thought them to just be cysts. Back to the dr. At this point the smallest cyst was beginning to feel more prominent, it burned like I was radiating heat from the inside out and it became red. Back to the dr. No idea. The C word came up and I was told to monitor it. Things didn’t get better. It was back and forth to the doctor with every new symptom: dimpling skin, puckering, sensitivity even from my shirt – my camera strap was murder, and then it started to peel. (I am telling you all all these gritty details because my symptoms might help someone else – it is not to gross you out – so if you’re a guy suck it up and keep reading because you may be able to save your girlfriend or wife’s life) I went back again after a week of vomiting and a 104 fever to top it off and the three words Inflammatory Breast Cancer spilled out her mouth (see now why I listed those symptoms). Even though it was just a possibility, because my symptoms weren’t acting normal (my health symptoms are never normal. A few years back it took the hospital a week to figure out I was near kidney failure due to a random bit of e. coli in my kidneys. Yea I work awesome that way.) I freaked out.
She said I needed to minimize my stress and remove stressful things from my life. HA! I run a business lol. Well I did what I could. I removed what stress I could. But I dived into work, and I have to say thank you to all my clients the past months because without you I think I would have lost my mind. Getting to share your moments with you, capture your love you have of your family members, your significant others, your kids, your new babies – that kept my spirits up. All your laughing and joking with me during sessions; all your hugs, embraces, kisses, and looks of love to one another. All your generosity & hospitality during newborn sessions. It. All. Mattered.
Well awhile later my lump abscessed and drained. It was probably the most disgusting thing ever to be brutally honest. I would much rather take being pooped and peed on during a newborn session. No joke. But it did its grossness and it healed.
And today after a final ultrasound (well at least for six months lol) I got some really great news! There is no longer a cyst there anymore! Yes the other one is there and it will continue to be monitored but other than a scar I am healthy and have no c word thank goodness!
But I know some people aren’t so lucky, or have had to fight through breast cancer and other types of Cancer as well.
So in honor of not only October being my already favorite month for fall weather and Halloween it is breast Cancer Awareness month. But I’m not gonna limit this to breast cancer, I want to honor everyone who is fighting Cancer right now or who has kicked it squarely in the face and have told it quite blatantly to f-off! I will be offering anyone going through a fight with Cancer or anyone who is a Cancer survivor 20% off a session. In addition I will match your discount with a donation to the Susan G. Komen foundation because without them I don’t know what I would have done. And I won’t be limiting this to October. This will run the rest of the year. Just contact me to book and tell me your story so I know.
Once again, thank you to all of you for helping me through this even though you didn’t even know you were and I hope this helps serve as a reminder to others to not be afraid to do self checks, to not be afraid to seek help if things do not seem normal, and to not give into fear – stay strong and positive!
Thank you to you all,