Project Pretty in Pink {Casey} | Maryland Photographer

Casey was nominated by her daughter Chelsea who also joined her Mom for her session.  They have such an amazing bond and laughed together throughout the whole session.  Casey was kind enough to write up her story.  She said to use what I wanted of it but I think it's better to just share the whole thing. 

Casey's story in Casey's words:

"My name is Casey, and I am a breast cancer survivor. I was diagnosed in 2006 after finding the lump during a self-exam. I remember this September weekend as if it were yesterday. My daughter Chelsea had just left to go back to school in Missouri. My husband Randy had left for Iraq the week before. I found the lump while showering, but actually didn’t think much of it. Well maybe I did, but I didn’t call my doctor right away. In fact, my appointment was on Thursday 4 days after finding it. When I called I think I said something like this.. “ I found a lump, but it is that time of the month.. so... “ Even before my gynecologist examined me she said It’s probably nothing.. until she felt the lump. Her words exactly “wow, that’s a pretty big lump”. They set me up for a sonogram and mammogram. But I had to wait 2 weeks for the first available appointment. I think that was probably the longest 2 weeks of my life. Just waiting.. After the sonogram everything was a whirlwind of activity. Appointments - consults – tests - decisions. The sonogram showed the tumor at 4 cm, and the biopsy results proved it was cancer. It was too large to do a lumpectomy so I knew it was going to be a mastectomy. I had the mastectomy of my left breast 2 days after my 47th birthday. It was a fast growing tumor, by the time it was removed; it was 2 cm larger than what it was in the sonogram. The size alone put me in Stage III, after further tests it was determined it was type A. I also found out it was HER2 positive, which is an aggressive form of breast cancer. So the treatment was also aggressive. I had chemo for a year and half then radiation, and more treatment after the radiation targeted specifically at the HER2 gene. My hair started falling out 2 weeks to the day of my first chemo treatment. We joked about pranking someone, by standing in line at a store and freak out and say “you are driving me crazy” then start pulling the hair out. I think I did do it with friends and coworkers. Eventually I had my husband and son shave my head. I did not do a wig, but chose to wear hats instead. My coworkers sent me a selection of hats to choose from which made it fun to wear actually. I think a major contributor to my survivorship is the love, prayers and support I had from my friends and family. Most of my family lives out of state, so their support was long distance, but it was still the support from both my family and friends that helped me make it through this. I think my positive and upbeat attitude also attributed to the successful outcome. Some people start counting the years of survival after treatment is done and an all clear from the doctor. But when I asked someone about that at my first outing honoring Breast Cancer survivors, I had someone tell me as soon as you are diagnosed. So, I am into my 7th year as a breast cancer survivor. I get annual scans and checks with my doctor but I am cancer free!!!"

Thank you to Casey for allowing me to photograph your beauty and to Chelsea for being their to support your Mom in so many ways.  It was an honor.




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