“My boobs are trying to kill me.”
says May, a week after being diagnosed with breast cancer.
“and you know what i dread most?” she asks, as we’re having coffee in the NIKE cafeteria, that day.
Me: the pain? the chemo? fucking hell, the fear of DYING???
“No,” she says.
No? there is something worse? there is something more awful than those items on my what if i ever got cancer, what would i fear checklist????
apparently, there is.
“Cancer eyes,” says May.
ok, i think, ok.
(and in my head, i’m thinking, “what the hell?”)
But here’s the thing.
When you have cancer, you have the absolute, undeniable right to determine what is going drive you up the freaking WALL.
So for May, with her jet black hair and beautiful dark brown skin, dreaded, while bald as a billiard ball, sitting in the cafeteria, running the Wildwood trails, or making a controversial statement in a meeting, the cancer eyes from someone who might be looking at her saying, “yeah, May, that’s a great point.”
because she was bald and not, ahem, because she actually had a great fucking point.
that is what she meant.
so where does this leave us.
well, it leaves us here.
to a place where i get super selfish, because today was a bad day, as far as you can have a bad day discussing sneakers.
and i love NIKE.
and i love the SWOOSH.
and i think, if i were in May’s position, i would hate those cancer eyes too.
and here’s where May’s foresight came into play like nothing i have ever witnessed before.
she wanted photos.
of her with hair.
and of her without hair.
and the entire process in between.
so she asked if i would take photos of all of it.
and, in the spirit of cancer eyes, i said yes.
because here’s the thing.
May with hair is beautiful.
Bald May is more.
the adjectives are yours to choose.
mine are these:
strong, sexy, bold, powerful, defiant, kind, victorious.
look at these, then YOU decide.
and if you are fighting cancer, well hell, you’ve got a teammate in May.
her boobs are trying to kill her?
NOT A CHANCE.
this is May.
and May doesn’t want cancer eyes.
and cancer won’t kill her.
and if today, you thought that you were bummed because work sucked, remember this:
work is work. and we should take that seriously, because we are gifted/granted a job that allows us to live a fruitful life.
what May teaches us is that we don’t settle. for cancer eyes, for acceptance, for making total human infallible mistakes.
life is short.
do the right thing, apologize if you don’t, correct it, and move on.
at all costs… avoid cancer eyes.
you’ve got this.
You know it, we know it, and quite frankly.
Cancer knows it and can crawl in it’s lameass dark stupid dunce corner and KISS OUR ASS.
your boobs are beautiful, and in their cancer free, reconstructed state, will continue to teach us that dwelling on the insignificant is, um… wasteful and insignificant.
ps… more photos, you ask? well ok!!!!
pps… if you’d like to order the photo book i created for May as her thank you for allowing me to photograph her journey, you can buy it here. All profits are given to her to donate to the organizations of her choosing.