The photo, cancer & my 48th year
THE PHOTO I have participated in a couple photo shoots with Ivory House Photography called Unapologetically Extra. It is a mini session; sometimes it is themed, sometimes it is a special location but it is always a step out of my comfort zone. I like to push my boundaries, get a new perspective or a reminder but it is always for me.
The photo below was taken near Gray's Lake in Des Moines. I remember the day clearly, It was chilly, windy and I wasn't feeling myself. I hadn't felt right in quite a while. I booked a session because I had a thought maybe it would shake me out of this funk. I hadn't felt good in over a year. I was exhausted. Been to doctors, Taken tests. Everything was "normal",
After the photo shoot, Whitney schedules an online viewing so you can choose which photos you want. I chose two but I there was something off. It bother me and I contacted Whitney the next day and asked her not to post any of the photos. There was something very wrong. I didn't know what is was but I saw something in the photos.
45 days later, I had a confirmed by biopsy diagnosis, Stage 2 breast cancer.
CANCER Jumping ahead to April 17th... I am now in the fully entrenched in my cancer treatment. I have had a million feelings, moments and personal epiphanies. It is a marathon not a sprint.
I lost any taste for alcohol or meat after my first chemo treatment January 31st. I have lost 16 lbs but no nausea. Very tired and it comes in waves which makes it all the more exhausting. I have to let go a lot and listen to my body with a new dedication. There have been fevers, chills, bloody noses, pain in my hands and feet, and even an emergency room visit, weekend at the hospital and a transfusion. It is my job now.
But I know this. This I can fight. This brings out the spirit of who I know I am.
It is better than the mysterious, unknown not feeling right.
MY 48TH YEAR April 27th will be my 48th birthday. It feels like a blank canvas. So much potential, but it is different then prior years, a different motivation. It is the year do more of what I love and let go.
There are things that are for sure are going to happen this year. Chemo will continue. Our daughter will graduate high school and head out on her own adventures. I will have surgery and recovery. I will paint again. I will fish and get near water as often as possible. My husband and I will be back to our own devices as a couple with dogs. I will be surround by friends, family, music and art. I will decide how I want my business to move forward and grow. And I will be just fine.
Rest, Create. Refocus.
Life is short and sweet. It is time to celebrate.
4/17/2019 09:57:14 pm
Happy 48th Jen! Congratulations on knowing and listening to your body even when others wouldn’t - yet; for your vision, creative spirit and artistry; for being the funny, insightful, inspirational, kicking Claude’s ass warrior you are. Keep on keeping on my friend. Love you!
4/18/2019 06:59:41 am
Wow I have known you for 30 years lady, and I've seen the adventure your riding along with all its emotions in your eyes. You are a blessing just doing you, in all it's simplicity and complexity. I am grateful to play along side of you. You will soldier on and with joy. Love always, Denise
4/18/2019 12:30:14 pm
You always have been an inspiration to me. Your artistic talent, your quiet reserve, your endurance. Thank you for sharing something so very personal.
8/11/2022 03:34:47 am
Thanks great bllog
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Jen Heins. Keeping my eye on the horizon.