So, if you are a fan on my facebook fan page you might have already seen that I have been a bit busier than normal this summer documenting my friends battle with breast cancer.
This spring my friend Annmarie told me that she found a lump in her breast. It was nothing–I mean the lump hurt and breast cancer lumps are not supposed to hurt, right? Every time she was told not to worry, the tests came back with lots to worry about. Finally, she was told that it was breast cancer. Not knowing what to do to help, I did what I always do—offered to take some photos. I wasn’t really sure what photos she might want–boudoir? family session? to document the whole thing?
I told her that I would photograph as much as I could of her doctor appointments and surgery. I told her it was her choice what she did with the photos or even if she wanted to look at them.
You may remember hearing me talk about Annmarie before on the blog. She has a huge Race for the Cure team, and two years ago I did a fundraiser to help this team–and you all really came through during my best friend portrait sessions. Look back here to remember. http://genphotos.com/blog/?p=4820
I have taken many photographs of Annmarie’s family since I met her. Some photos were during actual portrait sessions.
Most photos were taken at parties, or backyard dinners. Casual, fun photographs. Photographs that are easy to share and easy to show off.
Soon after showing Annmarie the photos I took of her lumpectomy, she started blogging about her experience with breast cancer. She calls her blog Stupid Dumb Breast Cancer.
She decided to take her most personal feelings and very intimate photographs (the ones I thought she might never want to look at) and she is showing them off and in the process reaching out to others who have cancer, and helping to raise money to spread awareness and to find a cure.
She is talking about the scariest times.
She is being herself.
She is educating my girls–and also showing them how to handle a crisis.
Here she is letting Echo try on one of her many battle shoes–the ones she wears to important surgeries. I might add that this photo was taken just days after her double mastectomy surgery.
Annmarie is in the process of her reconstruction now, and while we mostly see her with a smile on her face, the wounds that breast cancer make on a person’s body and soul, the toll it takes on her family, are often inconceivable to someone (like me) who hasn’t been through it.
Part of the way Annmarie is coping is with her blog. I encourage you all to please check it out and pass it on. It helps to understand what she is going through, and it reminds you to keep your doctor appointments, and to schedule those mammograms!
And, I would like to personally invite you all to come and meet Annmarie and support her cause at a fundraiser we are having in Fayetteville, NY at Pascale’s Restaurant on October 21st from 4-7pm. For more information please visit her blog at: http://stupiddumbbreastcancer.blogspot.com/p/events-mark-your-calendars.html
And finally—hear Annmarie talk about her journey in her own words on a recent television interview. http://www.9wsyr.com/mediacenter/local.aspx?videoid=3753871
If you have any questions about how to get tickets to the event–email me, facebook me, comment here. I would love to see a lot of you there.