I was holding my 2 year old’s hand when the phone rang. With no family history of breast cancer, healthy life style and having nursed my 2 kids for almost 4 years (combined), I had nothing to worry about. Or so I thought. It was a day before Thanksgiving, and I heard the news no woman ever wants to hear: “You have breast cancer”. Everything was a blur for a while as I kept learning more bad news in the next few weeks: aggressive cancer, spread to lymph nodes, need more biopsies and more surgeries, and later chemo and radiation, will lose my hair…But most of all I was worried what all of this would mean for my young children.
After the initial shock, I focused on getting through my treatment. Chemo was a challenge on many levels. It was the same routine of getting incapacitated for a few days, and then starting the process all over again, and again, and again. I was so excited to learn about Turning-Heads. It gave me something special to look forward to at the end of chemo – fun photo shoot organized by volunteers to help me get through a very difficult time. Looking at the website with pictures of the empowered women gave me more and more confidence every day. I started taking my wig off at friends’ houses and in public places.
As hard as cancer is, it also brought some positive into my life. I made some great friends, and also became closer to others already in my life, who showed me care, support and advice. Photo shoot was a generous gift and I am very grateful to everyone involved – Debbie, Neil, David, Ikram, Matt, Lisa and my family – Jake, Sasha, Max, Olia and Todd.
Fashions by Ikram of Chicago
Photography by Neil Stern Photography, Makeup by David Grant, Styling by Matthew Graham