The picture on the left is what I looked like prior to my breast cancer diagnosis. The picture on the right (still me) was shot three months later. By then, I had undergone a double mastectomy and was in the midst of my chemotherapy.
It took a lot of courage for me to make my very private cancer picture public. But then I thought about the tremendous courage it takes for a woman to walk into her children’s school or her office for the very first time after she has lost her hair.
I thought about the strength it takes to wake up to drains, disfiguring scars and an altered body shape and image. And I thought about the determination and heart it requires to walk into that chemotherapy or radiation treatment room, day after day, week after week, and for some women, even longer.
I used to joke to my friends that, “Cancer makes you check your vanity at the door.”
But in reality, it has nothing to do with being vain. It’s about trying desperately to hold on to your “sense of self ” or who you are, when the ground is constantly shifting under your feet.
I sounded the battle cry for women as I burned my ugly, depressing, mastectomy bras. I admit it–it felt goood! But the video was a humorous way to make a more serious statement.
Women deserve to recover with their confidence and self-esteem intact. They deserve to be prepared for the side effects of surgery and treatment and they deserve to have the opportunity to look and feel the best they can, when they can.
In other words…Cancer – Be – Glammed.