In Support of BREAST CANVER awareness month I had the privilege to shoot with one of the bravest young woman I know. Ever year I try and create an awareness about breast cancer this time if the year especially breast cancer in woman under the age of 3 years because being diagnosed under 3 is becoming a crazy reality for so many young woman out there and its not spoken enough about. I personally know 3 ladies just in my close friendship group that has been diagnosed under the age of 30. I want to tell their story, how they dealt with this and how it has affected their body confidence. How can I help them to still make them see their beauty, see their scars as a story to be told and create an uplifting experience where they celebrate this journey and strength from inside they never knew they had.
Today I would like to share the story of Michelle G, a brave, courageous and fierce young woman from the mother city Cape Town.
This is her STORY…….
At the age of 28, happily engaged, literally just signed for our new home and planning our wedding was the things on my priority list at that stage, my white picket fence future…
Casually, I was sitting at work one day and felt a sting-like burning sensation in my right breast, when I tried to feel what it was (basically examining by boob), I felt a small bump not even 2cm in size. Called my gynaecologist, saw her 2 days later, she immediately sent me a breast sonar and a few minutes later the radiologist pulled me aside, telling me I would need to go for a biopsy. He said that whatever it was, my body isn’t happy about it as my white blood cells (our fighters) are hoarding around it. This could clearly be seen on the sonar too. Two weeks later I had an operation to remove the entire lump for further analysis (I opted out of the needle biopsy) and on the 23rd of May 2017, I was diagnosed with an aggressive breast cancer.
It’s a weird thing getting diagnosed with breast cancer at a young (28 or any other for that matter) age. Suddenly, everything stops and everything else in the world you always worried about seems so petty. Immediately you decide, I need to fight.
And so my journey of treatments and healing started:
First – A bunch of further tests, CT Scans, MRI’s, Bone density, small operations etc. Thereafter two weeks of injections daily to harvest my eggs to be frozen before chemotherapy, as chemo can have quite an effect on fertility and I still wanted to have kids.Followed by – Second round of harvesting for another two weeks, we didn’t get enough eggs the first round. Actual treatment started – 6 months of chemo, every three weeks for 8 sessions.
Lastly – A quick rest period after chemo, finishing off treatment with a double mastectomy and reconstruction.
Finally – Healing not only my body, but my mind and soul.
My dear co-fighter/survivor, I can write a book for you about the ups-and-downs, the good and the not-so-good days, the scary and the not-so-scary, but for today, I want you to know a few things:
You are stronger than you ever thought
Never apologise for needing help and ask unapologetically
Talk, talk your heart out if that is what you need
Forgive people for the dumb things they might say, most of them have no idea what you’re actually going through
Do whatever it is you need for that day
Kick fear in the butt, it has no right on your mind or body
And remember, cancer does suck, but YOU definitely don’t.
So the reason I wanted to do a Golden Fox shoot was for breast cancer awareness! This is something more young woman need to talk about and be aware of ton check themselves. But also, a lot of changes happen when you go through the radical treatment given for cancer, for a long period of time I didn’t feel (or look) like myself and at times I wondered if I ever will again.
Doing a shoot with Simone and getting to see myself and my body, even with it’s new battle scars, has been SO empowering. I felt strong, confident and beautiful, something I did not feel for quite a while. Thankfully today, I can tell you that I now recognise myself again and I feel great!
Thank you Simone for making me feel (and look) amazing!
With love, Michelle