The Pictures I Never Took

As many of you know my interview about online dating and breast cancer took place with Glamour Magazine and was published in the October issue released this month. I really appreciate all of you who have gone out of your way to purchase and read the article.

In preparation for an interview that is scheduled tomorrow, I spent some time reflecting on my entire story. The most logical thing to do first was to look back at pictures. Makes sense right?

But a strange thing occurred to me as I looked at the photos of my cancer journey…

The photos only tell half the story…

  • They don’t capture the night I was up all night sweating and dealing with insomnia.
  • Or the night I realized it was snowing outside and I stood outside until the night sweats disappeared.
  • They don’t show the evening I ran to my room while my roommates hosted a dinner party and I crawled down on the floor and cried over how much it all hurt.
  • They don’t show you when my parents and I parked the car in an empty parking lot because we had no idea what to do after we had just heard the most devastating of news.
  • They don’t show my head laying on my desk in my cubicle at work as I cried myself through the work day hoping nobody would hear.
  • They don’t show when I laughed at my friends as they painted my nails for me while I was drugged on medicine.
  • Or when I showered for the first time after surgery. Closing my eyes under the water as my drains were held up by a necklace around my neck.
  • There are no photos of the shots I got after each round of chemo, or the visits to the cancer center where I was sat reflecting by myself.
  • Or when my company surprised me during our staff meeting with several thousand dollars and I cried (big tears) in gratitude
  • They have never shown the change in my heart either….
  • Photos don’t capture the devastation on my face as I learned that I only retrieved four eggs when I went to harvest my eggs.
  • They don’t show the countless remedies I tried to minimize my scars (Nerium, oil, scar tape etc.)
  • The bottles of wine I drank in hopes I would feel something different.
  • The time I stood at my grandmother’s funeral bald and all donations were given in my name to Komen.
  • Or the time I took a spin class bald as a cancer patient could be determined to prove my own body wrong.
  • Or the times I cried myself to sleep.
  • Or the hundreds of people that walked through my front door on any given day to bring food, take me on a walk, bring me flowers or simply say hello.

I am not saying this becuase I wish I had photos of these moments becauase honestly they would probably be hard to look at…. The only thing I wish for is to tell the whole story. Grief, devastation and heartbreak are very real emotions that should be granted the same permission as those moments that recieve the limelight and the photos. Let’s be honest some of my most tender moments in my life are the ones that have been full of tears.

May all the moments even those not captured in photos be the most precious of memories that mold you more in the person you are to become. I so believe this to be true.

Below are some photos that I never shared….

 

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