“The ‘Gift’ photo shoot enabled me to feel beautiful again in that my body is still ‘picture worthy’!! My scars have a story of their own to tell. The project allows others to see the beauty of my entirety, beyond the scars. The scars enhance a different type of beauty that is not physical. I feel “ I am aesthetically pleasing even though my reconstruction is ‘unfinished’.” I want others to witness that pride and feel that they too should embrace the body they now have.
By attending the Living Beauty Yoga Retreat last year, I found hidden strength within myself. Each woman’s story is unique yet we share the common thread of endurance. A safe space was created for us to be ourselves as sisters to share the unspoken grief, triumphant spirit and layers of emotions.
Cancer helped me discover that I now have a voice that speaks with conviction to tell newer survivors and their family members that they too will find support, strength and a deeper faith in places totally unexpected and from people whom they would not have otherwise except through this process. I have gained the irreplaceable companionship of confidants. There is an undeniable instant bond with fellow strivers and even more so at group activities that focus on topics other than the disease. On these occasions, we are able to bear witness to how others have and grow deeper in the belief that I too can overcome!
Now that I have made it to the five year mark of survivorship, I am an example to others…I can give guidance and speak from experience as ‘living proof’ that life does go on.”