What an incredible day. Throughout this process of finding out and dealing with the breast cancer gene I have had many ups and down. Some decisions have been simple, such as … um… ok… so I can't think of any right now that have been simple!! The overwhelming majoring has just felt like heart break after heart break. The biggest of which is coming to terms with the fact that in just over a week now, I will have no breast tissue and two very large, very ugly scars. (And future tattoo nipples - I'm such a rebel!). I have come to look at part of this surgery as not only life saving for myself, but also in a grieving process as well.
Remember when you were in school and sang those songs "I must, I must, I must increase my bust!" and of course any song with boob reference… "My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard" and "My boobs, my boobs, my boobs are OK!". Ops… been here singing the milkshake song and dancing around for the last five mins! Lost my focus for a moment there! Anyways… It was always such a big thing (and still is for most women) to have an impressive chest size. Why would so many women undergo cosmetic breast enhancements if it wasn't? I even remember looking in the mirror when I was just developing being so excited! Not to mention I had more of a chest then anyone else in the 7th grade at that stage! YEW! So to me this process certainly has not been an easy solution to arrive at. It is knowing that after this surgery I will have a continued life without a high risk of cancer trying to steal my amazing partner, my daughter, and my incredible family and friends away from me.
So… This brings us to today. As a 'farewell' to my boobs, I wanted portraits taken. Not confronting "well here are the last photos of my boobs" but artistic reflections of this point in time PRIOR to having such drastic surgery. This is part of MY grieving process. Today was about confronting my fears head on knowing that whatever happens over the next couple of weeks/months I will still be hear and standing.
In step the AMAZING BAMBI WIXON!! Not only a fantastic, creative and loving photographer but someone who was so inspired by what lays ahead for me, took everything to the next level. As well as my artistic nude style shots, Bambi has created the idea of before, during and after my surgeries. At this stage all I can tell you is that it involves a nest, eggs, and a HUGE BLOODY SNAKE!!! I have my complete trust and faith in Bambi and letting her go crazy nuts on whatever ideas spring into her head!
Bambi encouraged me into the studio by saying the snake is only a metre long and will have just eaten so will be very subdued and quiet. The first thing essentially that the lovely snake handler Brett tells me is that the snake "Zeus" is 8 ft long and hasn't eaten for a number of weeks so he is lovely and shiny…. uuummmm… RUN!!!! I had a quick briefing on trying to keep my heart rate slow and what happens if he bites! lol Thanks Bambi!
The lovely Tiffany stood beside me incase I needed a hand moving the Zeus… which I was pretty much paralysed so needed much help!!!
Bambi: "Tam just bring your left arm in a little"
* I make a pathetic attempt to move *
Bambi: "oh… you can't… oh well…"
By the way, sorry for the amount of boob you had to see Tiffany!! I managed to not get bitten but stay relaxed (except for the nervous sweat pouring off me!). Zeus truly was a beautiful snake who, although I can't say I enjoyed the experience, was pretty amazing and thoroughly ensured I confronted my fears head on!
We can't wait to see the finished product (which does involve more photos after my surgery) but for now we do have some behind the scenes images for you! Note the strategically placed Mr Zeus!
Thank you to Brett and Tiffany for bringing in Zeus and helping me throughout the shoot, for Kim who made my make up and hair look incredible! and of course to Bambi for making me feel so comfortable and helping me on this scary journey. xoxo
Hair and make up time!
Bambi having a cuddle with Zeus.
A very strategically held snake and my screaming on the inside face!!!!! (And of course my saviour Tiffany!)
10 days till surgery