July 15, 2013 Facebook Post after “Celebration of Boobs & Hair” party.
Thanks to all who gathered in my back yard very last minute this weekend. Apologies to good friends who didn’t get the word or who have left messags that have been unanswered. “Put your red lipstick on. You’ll feel better,” as my grandmother said during tough times. This morning I begin 4 months of chemotherapy, then surgery, reconstruction and radiation. I was very recently diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. It did not show on a mammogram. I felt pain and asked for more testing. First, know that I have a treatable form of cancer. I will be okay! Of course, I will do what I do and create an art project in the form of a photo book and gallery show called, “Finding Beauty – in Cancer.” I plan to collaborate with other creatives around PDX and perhaps beyond. Makeup and hair stylists, photographers, fashion designers and set builders to recreate myself every 2 weeks during the process. My friend is building a website where you can check in on the project, my personal progress and any needs, if you want. URL to come. I have no idea yet what I will need, but I do appreciate all the love that has already flowed my way. I love you right back. I feel supported by fabulous friends and family and well loved as I begin this journey so many others in the world have taken before me. I plan to continue to work at my photography studio as much as I can. I’m challenging myself to live fully within whatever set of limits the treatments may bring. I hear it’s all a real party! The objective is to find beauty between the rough spots – when I feel like hell and am no longer a redhead – not just at the end of many months with a successful treatment. What will it be like to recreate myself from a blank canvas? How many ways can that be done? I may need you to inspire me on certain days and call on you. Ultimately, I hope this book project not only helps me process my way through cancer but perhaps leads to returned inspiration as well.
Please live and love full out!! I’ve got your back.