"The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." - Dorothea Lange

Friday, August 31, 2012

breast cancer survivors

It is that time of the year again for me to photograph twelve selected breast cancer survivors for Shawnee Mission Medical Center. The portraits will be displayed in the hospital during Breast Cancer Awareness month (October), and the subjects will be featured as "calendar girls" in a nicely designed and printed piece that is given to newly diagnosed patients.

This year, we asked each subject to bring to the photo shoot something that was really important to them throughout their diagnosis and treatment - a treasure, if you will.... something that helped them get through it all.

I've done this project for many years and love working with Meg and Charlene at SMMC. One year, they even asked me to participate. That was 2008, the year I reluctantly became a member of the "club." (I am happy to report that with regular follow-up mammograms and check-ups, I remain in tip-top shape.) 

I am grateful to SMMC for asking me to shoot the portraits yet another time. They specifically asked that I do the pictures in the same style as my "Estate Sale Portraits." The colors are wild and whacky, but I think the pictures work.

These two happen to be among my favorites. Thanks, ReBecca and Pam, for letting me share them, along with what you wrote, here on the blog.

I am a mother, daughter, sister, auntie and friend... I am a breast cancer survivor.

My treasures through this life changing journey were GOD and my parents. I know God is always with me, but through this He has been working overtime, and I thank Him every day for that.

My parents raised me to be a strong individual, and this was a true test of how much of my childhood I took with me into adulthood. My mom, Mae, is my life rock. When I got the dreaded phone call, she was the first person I called. Her exact words were, 'WE will get through this.' We did just that. I LOVE YOU MAMA.

We spend our entire lives taking care of others. Please, ladies, take time out to take care of yourselves. Go to the doctor. Get your mammograms every year. I would never have thought this would happen to me, but early detection definitely makes a world of difference." - ReBecca

"I am a wife, mother, grammie, daughter, sister, aunt, mother-in-law, friend, co-worker... I am a breast cancer survivor.

My friends at my job supported me in every aspect. One of them made a stuffed, hot pink fabric bunny. Staff signed it with words of encouragement. I was overwhelmed that they did that for me. I took it to the hospital for every surgery, and it never left my side during recuperation. Her name is 'BooBee Bunny.'  My granddaughter gave me a smaller one at my one-year anniversary.

My mother says I light up a room when I walk in, so she's always called me her sunshine. My advice is to NEVER let your sunshine dim, because you are proof that there is light and hope." - Pam

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

These are wonderful and inspiring.