I am only ten months into my story. In that time I have had two Cancer diagnoses and I will likely undergo a biopsy in two days to rule out a third. Two, possibly three, unrelated, freak incidents of Cancer in ten months.
I am married to a man who I am humbled to call my husband. I am mother to two beautiful little boys; they take my breath away every day, as I watch them grow into little men. I am daughter, sister, cousin, sister-in-law and daughter-in-law to a family who would do anything for me. And I am friend to some of the most loving and genuine people who are full of integrity and as close as family. These people are “my tribe”. My blessings in life.
When I received my first diagnosis, a rare form of Bone Cancer in my femur, I said to my husband “we have Cancer, it is just in my body”. He and I have been together nearly half our lives; he is my best friend, my love and my partner in life. We had Cancer and we needed each other to get through it.
I learnt early in life, through others' experiences that awful and tragic things happen to wonderful people. Life can be hard to understand sometimes. And yet, everyone I know who has been faced with a heartbreaking situation, often unfathomable for others to comprehend, has moved forward. Their resilience has been awe-inspiring to me. It has shaped the way my husband and I have approached Cancer, the way we have parented our children, and the types of values and skills we try to instill in them.
In this way I decided that I was not going to “fight” Cancer. For me, to imagine Cancer as a fight was going to drain my heart and spirit of everything I had. Instead, I went with it. I relaxed into it. Cancer became part of my spirit rather than something I was trying to get rid of or lock out. We pulled our tribe in close, we lent on them and they became a circle of support around us. This safe circle allowed us to concentrate the light our family projected into the world, inwards, so that we could heal.
We moved forward…every day.
When I saw my portrait for the first time I think I stopped breathing for a second or two. Despite Scar Stories portraits being about capturing the physical story of Cancer, I felt as though mine captured my spiritual story.
None of us know how long we will be here for. But I have had an overwhelmingly challenging experience that has enriched my life beyond anything I could have ever dreamed of. My life is bursting with the richest love I could ever imagine…thanks to Cancer.