Bittersweet: A Vulnerable Photographic Breast Cancer Journey

I am putting the final touches on my book, Bittersweet: A Vulnerable Photographic Breast Cancer Journey, to get it ready to go to the publisher next month.  I never intended to write a book and share the photos that my husband Wiley took of my breasts until a fateful meeting seven weeks after my double mastectomy.  I was attending the Lavender Inn's Inncourage cancer retreat and met Nicole Jones.  She inspired me to share my story.  Here are a couple paragraphs from that chapter.

  • Chapter 3
  • Total Double Mastectomy
  • November 27, 2015

             I was seven weeks post double mastectomy and felt self-conscious about how I looked.  Nicole Jones, a vibrant, young, mom of two teenagers introduced herself and shared that she was a couple weeks away from a double mastectomy.  Once she realized that I was newly recovered from a double, she asked if I would show her my scars.  To that point, I had only shown my mother-in-law and two sisters, so I wasn’t sure about showing someone I had just met.  Nicole told me that she was very scared about her pending surgery and that was all I had to hear to agree. 

            My other new friend, Martina Albert wanted to know what they looked like too.  We walked into the pantry off the Lavender Inn kitchen for a little privacy and I removed my shirt.  Nicole’s hands immediately went to cover her mouth.  I took that as a bad sign, but Nicole let out a sigh of relief and said, “That’s not so bad.”  It isn’t?  Both she and Martina were so positive and supportive toward the two enormous scars blazing across my chest.  Nicole said, “I can totally do this.”  It was the moment when I realized that I didn’t actually look like Frankenstein and that I could share what had happened to me to help other women.  The idea for my book, Bittersweet, was born right then and there.  Thank you, Nicole.

Thanks for reading, more coming soon!  Now I need to get back to designing the book cover, editing, formatting, and planning my book launch.  See you there!  Saturday, October 6, 2018 at the Ojai Valley Woman's Club in Ojai, CA.  Ticket and event info coming soon.