Cancerversary

Three years ago today, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

I documented the following year with pictures of primarily just my face.

Top row, from left to right:

*I found out I needed a biopsy, at the same time my best friend was waiting for biopsy results of her own.
*The day I received my biopsy results. 3 years ago today.
My best friend told me that she had cancer, too.
*The day AFTER my diagnosis, both kids were out of town, and Brad and I decided to have a FUN weekend. We were at the annual summer fireworks display.
*The day after my lumpectomy.

Second Row:

*Thanksgiving 2007, 3 days before my first mastectomy. Trying to be brave.
*The pink picture: Just home from the hospital after mastectomy. In and out in 6 hours!
*Halloween 2007 ( my sister's birthday! ) I have JUST had the news that the cancer had NOT spread to my lymph nodes!
After surgery, my best friend was ALSO cancer free. Neither of us required chemo or radiation.
*My 48th Birthday, 2007

Bottom Row:

*Christmas 2007
*3 months after second mastectomy. In London to see Kelsey's playwright debut.
*1 year since diagnosis.
*Brad and I, one year post diagnosis...also celebrating our 28th Anniversary!

I was very fortunate.
My cancer was caught after my yearly mammogram.
The initial tumour was very small and non-invasive.
After my lumpectomy, they discovered a second INVASIVE and very fast growing cancer, but because THAT was caught so early ( at just 2 mm), it had not yet spread to my lymph nodes.
I had the second mastectomy done prophylacticly, as my cancer was hormone receptive positive, and thus, would return in the second breast.


Related posts:

Scarves http://365project.org/1blond/365/2010-04-12
Simply Devastating http://365project.org/1blond/365/2010-06-19
What a wonderful and victorious journey you've been on. So happy to hear your story, and may the Lord richly bless you and yours in the many years that lie ahead.
posted August 3rd, 2010  
oh, i love this. how wonderful that you thought to document those 'milestones'--both the good and bad. beautiful. so thankful all is well now!!
posted August 3rd, 2010  
so so gorgeous and brave. What a powerful thing to share. Thank you for giving us a glimpse of your journey.
posted August 3rd, 2010  
Rock on, Sista! Not just survivin' - THRIVIN'!! So glad you are clear!
posted August 4th, 2010  
Wonderful story of survival. Great pix of ur journey.
posted August 4th, 2010  
What a wonderful way to follow your journey with that awful disease. Your spirit stayed strong. This is so touching.
posted August 4th, 2010  
Barb when I see your smiling faces in this picture of your documentation and know what you and your family has gone through in these last 3 years I thank the Lord that you are now cancer free.
posted August 4th, 2010  
I am happy for you and thankful you are doing well now. Congratulations on your surviving journey. Such a stong photo journal.
posted August 4th, 2010  
What an amazing collage! I think you are an very brave woman! I admire your courage so much. Sending you hug!
posted August 4th, 2010  
Barb, your story is simply inspiring. This is wonderful that you chose to document your year in photographs.
posted August 4th, 2010  
You're very brave Barb and I'm guessing that Brad's a great guy too!
posted August 4th, 2010  
You are an inspiration to us all. A beautiful record of your fight.
posted August 4th, 2010  
This is inspirational.
posted August 4th, 2010  
Thanks for sharing Barb! I just love hearing stories of survivors! Your such an inspiration!
posted August 4th, 2010  
Well, if that isn't a serious photojournal all in one, I don't know what is. What I noticed the most is that in most of the images, you manage a sincere smile. That is the sign of a good attitude and outlook, which is the backbone of a survivor! Good for you.
posted August 4th, 2010  
AMAZING! The forethought you had to put into this array of photographs. Just amazes me. Keep trucking along, girlfriend, fellow warrior. Keep kicking it's arse and know that I am so proud to know you on 365project and my heart touches your heart. Hugs sent your way right now....feel it?
posted August 4th, 2010  
I do I DO, Wendi! :-) XO And to you too, Laura! SISTAS, we three! XO
Chris... very sweet...*melts*
Craig....Brad is VERY special. I am a lucky, lucky gal. Everyone should have a Brad. Hee.
Rick, Bruni, Vicki, Allison, Tiffany, Brett....I am always so very touched by your comments! Thankyou! XO
Carla, your comments always mean so much to me. SO often I think of you when I post, or think of you at random times during the day. Our journeys have been quite different, but I think we understand each other, very well!
Sara....this is for Allie, too! You both Rock!
Bill, Mary, Constance, Kimmi....Thankyou for following me, for your supportive comments, and for helping to build my confidence! If I am inspirational, it's because YOU have found me so! :-)
posted August 4th, 2010  
Barb, this is beautiful, it is people like you who end up being a strength to so many people. You photographed a bad phase in your life and emerged triumphant and as a beacon of hope, for so many other women, who at this very moment would be going through the same situations. This also is a reminder for women, to get a few tests done regularly, so that problems can be avoided later.....
God bless!
posted August 4th, 2010  
Oh, Thank you so much, Santosh!
I love your comments!
But, yes...I hope, I hope, I hope....that somehow this serves as a reminder to have regular testing!
And that even a cancer diagnosis doesn't have to be the END of hope.
Far from it.
Strangely, life just seems to become richer.
Thank you for "getting" my point! :-)
posted August 4th, 2010  
That's a story to be proud of Barb. The interesting thing to me is that you look the same happy, bubbly person in all those photos. Yes you had a frightening disease but you stayed 'you'. Well done!
posted August 4th, 2010  
What a photo journal full of positive reinforcement! You're really a beacon for anyone who should have to follow in your footsteps. Your "joie de vivre" and the unabashed love you pour back into your family, friends & even this community is everything we see in you. Just when I thought I'd said my final "good night" (in this case, to Slava), I saw your posted note & I could never leave without stopping by. You *give* so hugely to everyone, it delights my heart when I see how to community responds to you! I couldn't say good-night without being one of the community here with you to cheer on your survival success! You're a joy and a delight...you know the rest! xox
posted August 4th, 2010  
Thank you Barb, for that wonderful tale of hope and victory. May God bless you in every way.
posted August 4th, 2010  
You are just an amazing person, Barb. Simply beautiful. *hugs*
posted August 4th, 2010  
wow this is such an inspiring story! I'm so happy that you made it through and you had the support of your family and friend there too! You must have been so blessed and grateful!
I love your idea of this photo journal through the years of being cancer free! I think it was a brilliant and wonderful idea on your part and I hope you can continue to do it to document every bit of life's precious moments.
I'm so glad that the cancer has gone away now! :D
posted August 4th, 2010  
nicely done, beautiful collage. :D
posted August 4th, 2010  
what a great thing to have done...I have such admiration for you!!
posted August 4th, 2010  
very inspiring story!
posted August 4th, 2010  
This is amazzzing! Great collage!!
posted August 4th, 2010  
I love this...a photo profile of courage.
posted August 4th, 2010  
Thank you so much for sharing your touching story! So glad you beat it and such a great collage and idea for it :)
posted August 4th, 2010  
Have you thought of submitting this photo to the Komen Race for the Cure site? I think they'd snap it up in a second. You are tough and resilient--I can't even find the words to express what I want to right now, so...I guess I'm just speechless
posted August 4th, 2010  
Barb you are so very brave, I am sure your story will give great comfort to others.
posted August 4th, 2010  
Barb, your courage is amazing. Your story inspires others to find hope and strength in times of darkness. Your portraits are beautiful, especially the last one with your hubby!
posted August 4th, 2010  
I love this. You are very inspiring. xoxo
posted August 4th, 2010  
Thank you for sharing this! What courage!! My best friends daughter was battling cancer.......it is all removed and PRAISE GOD she is doing so much better. The journey cancer takes a person on is beyond words and your sharing of these pictures is awesome!!
posted August 4th, 2010  
Barb,
you are beautiful,
absolutely beautiful.
not only on the outside,
but on the inside as well.
you inspire me and I admire you greatly.
I feel like I know you in person.
This collage is so great, and I am so thankful you are doing well.
Just know I have missed you too, I wish I could physically give you a hug :)
xoxoxox
posted August 4th, 2010  
Amazing, Barb. Your documentation is wonderful and I like how your face just gets happier and happier. Thank you for sharing your story.
posted August 4th, 2010  
Wow, Barb, you pictures and stories are so inspirational and emboldening. Kudos to you for sharing your journey with all of us. Hugs. :-)
posted August 4th, 2010  
very good pictures and a very moving account of your journey, my friend discovered she had breast cancer 12 years ago, it has not returned and she is enjoying a full and healthy life in the country with her husband...good luck to you.. now following your 365 pictures!
posted August 4th, 2010  
I'm looking at your picture and my Itunes, set on shuffle, decides to play Save you, from Simple Plan ( http://www.simpleplan.com/videos.php)
My mom had lung cancer, but it's all gone since last decembre. Your story is a story of hope, and we need more like these! Great collage.
posted August 5th, 2010  
Very inspirational. Made me think about the US Department of Health and Human Services decision to alter the guidelines for women between the ages of 40-50 to not get annual mammograms. Seems crazy to me! Thanks for sharing your story. Surely gives anybody that reads this strength in their lives.
posted August 5th, 2010  
Thank you so much for sharing this. I'm so glad that your story has been a happy positive one and hope soon that we will figure out how to be more effective in our treatment of all cancers.
Big hugs xx
posted August 5th, 2010  
Barb, you are so amazingly brave!! Thank you for sharing your journey with us! definitely a difficult one, but you emerged victorious! Beautiful collage!
posted August 5th, 2010  
your photos are amazing, thanks for sharing your experience, glad how things turned out... go girl!
posted August 7th, 2010  
What a wonderful way to document your breast cancer journey. My close friend just finished her last chemo treatment after a full mastectomy. It just makes you thankful for every single day we have on this beautiful earth. Thanks for sharing your story for others to see your bravery and your beauty.
posted August 8th, 2010  
I love how you have put this story together in the collage, although you do look the same in each photo, there is a inner glow that becomes more apparrant in the later photos.
posted August 13th, 2010  
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