So much of life is a lesson in letting go of someone or something and yet we continue to cling to them. Unable or unwilling to let go of them. During my breast cancer journey over the last year and a half, I found myself clinging to life, not yet ready to leave Wiley, Vance and my friends and family. I am still holding onto this life with all that I've got. Looking at the world around me and finding the joy and sadness in all of it's chaotic beauty.
It is one year since my oncologist held the results of my tumor marker test in her hands and smiled while she read "No evidence of cancer," to us. Since that revelation, I have engrossed myself in writing down my cancer journey while Wiley documented it in photographs. The experience in all of it's horror and grace needed to come out. Had to come out. As I near the end of writing and the beginning of publishing and sharing my book, I find I have more to let go of.
My book, Bitter-Sweet, is an intimate photographic journey of my breasts and life through all of the stages of breast cancer. Before and after photos do not tell the whole story. The story is so much more than that. I feel compelled to share what I have learned, the tips and tricks to get through each stage and the photos to take the mystery out of all of it. I am starting the process of letting go of the idea that everyone will see my breasts before they were removed and know what they look like now, filled with silicone and branded with scars.
Writing has been a form of letting go of the fear and trauma that I experienced on this path. I am forever grateful for the experience on one hand and want to scream "Fuck you cancer" on the other. Letting go has become a daily mantra for me since I have realized that I want more experiences instead of more stuff. Writing this book has been such a healing experience for me.
I only have the very last chapter to write and it will start at the end of August when my final breast tattoos begin. Then I will have to let go of my very personal journey and put it out into the world where I hope that it will help demystify and educate others about breast cancer.