Water Mill, New York
15-year breast cancer survivor
What does being a Survivor mean to you?
Being a survivor means that I shared the transformation of my daughter from the eight-year-old little girl dressed in a pink leotard and tights and my 11-year old boy just before he got braces, which was how they looked on the day of my diagnosis, to the 24-year old young woman and the 27-year old young man they are today.
Although I became part of a club that I never wanted to join, it is the club of Survivors that has allowed me to find the essence of my womanhood, to keep my priorities in proper order, and to accept the grace of aging.
The scars upon my body and the absence of my breast replaced by its reconstructed counterpart serve as visual reminders, but it is through the inner vision of my eyes of survivorship that I have been allowed to see the invisible perfection of life.
How has being a Survivor affected your life?
To know how breast cancer has affected me would mean that I would know how I would be had I not had breast cancer, and I will never know this. What I know for sure is that my getting breast cancer nearly 16 years ago has most certainly affected every aspect of my life, and that I have embraced its impact.
Sometimes, in the stillness of my own solitude, I must admit that I do wonder what I would be like if I had never had breast cancer. Sometimes I miss who I imagine I would have been, and then I remember that the beauty of the tapestry of life is that I am only me because of all of my life experiences, including breast cancer, and simply being me and being alive is enough.
How would you like to be photographed?
As you can probably surmise, by seeing the photo of me with my two young adult children on my 60th birthday, I would want to be photographed with them. Probably the most appropriate place to be photographed would be at our home in Water Mill, New York, preferably in my garden when it is in glorious bloom.