The following is one of The Reveal Mission stories. We could use your help to keep this work moving forward, there will be a few details at the end of this post.
Nicole discovered she had cancer in August of 2009. The lump that her health care providers had told her for two years was just a cyst, ended up being much more. It was the eyes of the ultrasound tech that gave her the terrifying news that there was something wrong.
Three days later she had a biopsy. Four days after that she had a diagnosis, Invasive Ductal Carcinoma – stage 2 breast cancer. She was just 24 years old, a wife of four years, and a mom of a 14-month-old blond haired girl.
She reached out to another young woman who had undergone a double mastectomy at age 20. Amy took her into the bathroom at a local coffee shop and showed her what her chest would look like post-surgery. Nicole decided she could live with that.
She fought the cancer by removing both breasts and undergoing chemotherapy. She blogged about her journey – sharing the good, the bad and the ugly of her ﬁght. She discusses her life after cancer and her reconstruction surgeries.
This following paragraph is in her own words from her blog when she wrote a letter to Cancer.
“I am reminded of the things that I have learned along the way. The lessons and friendships that are invaluable. I’m reminded that you somehow came into my life and cleared out the haze that I had been living in. That all of the BS was stripped clean and I had a clear vision of what really mattered in life and of the relationships that were worth investing in. You taught me to let go of the things that were not working and you have tested my marriage more in 4 short years than some are tested in a lifetime. Because of you I know that the man I married is not only my best friend, but he’d also do anything for me. That he is willing to lose everything he’s ever worked for if it means I get to live. And if someday I lose this battle with you, Cancer, at least from here on out I know what matters most to me in life and that I refuse to welcome the toxic things back into my life that, in years past, only drug me down. And the biggest thing you’ve showed me is how powerful and life changing it is to open your heart to God and that once you do, those tough paths are not nearly as tough as they would have been if you were walking them alone.”
About This Portrait
Nicole and her husband made the difﬁcult decision not to take the hormone blocking drugs that are typically prescribed to breast cancer patients. Her womb woke up after the chemo-induced menopause and now she is the proud mother of this beautiful little boy! This is Life After Cancer!
I collaborate with Breast Cancer Warriors and Survivors to share their journeys with portrait/environmental photography and written storytelling. I provides this service without cost. (In the future we will have a non-profit set up to help fund this work, but it is not ready at this time.)
Recently my computer died that I use to process photos and write stories. One of the Survivors suggested that I allow others to invest in this mission as well and help replace the computer and accessories I needs to continue The Reveal Mission. We don’t need a whole lot, but it is more than I can scrounge up myself. If you can help, even if it is just $10, or if you would pass this story along to others who can keep us sharing these stories, we all would be very grateful.