Today….today I was online looking for something and I ran across this very powerful web site called The SCAR Project. It is a “series of large-scale portraits of young breast cancer survivors shot by fashion photographer David Jay. Primarily an awareness raising campaign, The SCAR Project puts a raw, unflinching face on early onset breast cancer while paying tribute to the courage and spirit of so many brave young women.”
I will say up front I have no idea what it must be like to have breast cancer. I have never had any kind of cancer but it has touched my life in many ways. I lost a wonderful parent to adenocarcinoma of the neck 12 years ago, and have had several women close to me have breast cancer (and survive). They have been from one extreme to another; full double mastectomy, partial mastectomy, single mastectomy and lumpectomy. My husband’s aunt passed away from breast cancer several years ago. And even though the big “C” is no longer a death sentence, it can instill fear in anyone who hears that word because there are so many unknowns. It has no discrimination. Cancer affects the young, old, healthy, wealthy and wise. We should NEVER think it can never happen to us. But how we respond can be the difference between life and death.
It is difficult to say what one would do if they got cancer. Some say, “I would do whatever it took to survive!” or “I saw what (fill in the blank) went through and there is no way I would do chemo!” But their very words may come back to haunt them once they are put in that exact situation and they will do the very opposite of what they “thought” they might do. I try not to speculate. I just pray I never have to make that decision.
The SCAR Project really struck a chord with me because it made breast cancer a little more humanized. It showed men and women’s beauty and that they are more than just their cancer. There are all of these other lovely parts too. You can see the “inside” of them from these gorgeous portraits. Those of us who have never had cancer can’t necessarily empathize with what it feels like but we can certainly help those we love on their journey with love, peace, prayer and understanding. We must also remember to focus on the other parts of the person and not just identify them with the disease. The person we care about is still there and they need us to remember that! See past the physical…… walk with them on their path no matter what choice they made. It is THEIR life! Even if you do not agree with their choice, support them and be there for them. They will need you now more than ever……..