Our Sales & Marketing Guru Tara shares about her cancer journey.
It was on April Fool’s Day of 2015 that I had received my news. Poignant, cruel and devastating to anyone, my stage 2b cervical tumour would mean a course of chemo drugs (interestingly a drug made of trees), radiation (high tech laser beams right out of James Bond) and Brachytherapy (don’t ask).
Along with my bag of booklets and a ‘we’ll let you know the schedule asap’ promise, I had a dandy little choice to make. Shall I take the red pill – Chemo 1, the tried and tested and works grand but mightn’t work version of treatment? Or the blue pill – Chemo 1 (used in cervical situations) plus Chemo 2 and Chemo 3 (reserved for breast cancer folk) which shall heighten my chances of survival by a spectacular 5%?
Blue pill it was. Give anyone any additional % of survival and I’d say yes.
Side affect? Loss of hair.
It took a while to come to terms with that, as any person with long curly hair would. My teenage rebel within, however, delighted in the idea of a skinhead. My 30yr old something took a week of convincing.
Week over and I’m ready. I’m willing. Beast mode switched on. But how would I do it? Let it fall as I wash my hair or take it off before it begins? Pinterest have a cool collection of my skin head heroes. Actresses, models and badass folk. Plus I was a photographer. I photographed everything that was important to me. Dogs, family, friends. And now it was my turn.
I spoke with a friend who was only too happy to help me ‘brave the shave’ and had his own photography studio. Hair stylist arranged, brothers booked in to help and champagne bought, I had a photoshoot to celebrate my new hair do.
And it was a celebration. It was exciting. I wore a shoulderless top and had my portrait taken in the four different stages. Saying goodbye to the hair I loved and hello to the woman I needed to be for myself.
The celebration portraits took away from the focus on why I was there. That day was great as we all had lunch together and I embraced public eyes surrounded with my people. Lipstick, eyeliner, dress, skinhead. I would be fighting like a punk with a mohawk.
Please share my story with a loved one affected by cancer.
If you would like to do your own Celebration photoshoot, there is no charge for the studio or final portraits. It truly is a blessing to have the opportunity to provide such an experience to fellow cancer folk. Whether you go straight to skinhead and enjoy 2 portraits, or do the same four stages and enjoy 4 portraits. I hope this positive experience will carry you through your treatment, as it did me.