Last week I was hired by Cure Media Group to photograph cancer survivor, Michele, for a photo to accompany an article about rare cancers. Photo shoots like these are high on my favorites list because the stories behind these people are incredible- and Michele’s story is no exception to that fact.
Michele wrote on her blog about our photo shoot last Monday. You can read that here, and please do! Michele is an incredible writer and a huge voice of positivity. I’ve read through her posts of her heart and thoughts, and I appreciate her real, raw honesty.
Real and raw honesty is exactly what I experienced when I met with Michele Monday evening. I want to share with you one thing she said that resonated with me and has been on my mind ever since. During her battle with cancer, many times it came to her mind that she wanted to “live long enough” to see her kids graduate college…her daughter get married…her grandkids born. One day it occurred to her that that might not happen. So instead of dwelling on all of the things she might miss out on, she decided to live for the things she will miss out on. It’s in her mind and will to live and make memories TODAY for her loved ones to pass on in the future. She decided to make the most of enjoying ice cream TODAY with her daughter, so her daughter can tell her grandkids what her favorite ice cream was. Or to enjoy that summer evening on the porch TODAY, so the memory is in place for tomorrow. I was really inspired by this. Michele reminded me that we have the here and now. The today. Make the most of it.
Michele is a two-time Stage 4 cancer survivor. The article in Cure Magazine will be about rare cancer survivors. Ironically, the day of our photo shoot, Michele had results of a routine scan come back positive with a new spot on her lung. This news she shared left me a little speechless. I wasn’t sure to continue the photo shoot, or cancel? Reschedule? Michele, positive and sweet, assured me that it wasn’t coincidence for her to be present that evening. She boldly said, “I’m here, present, and alive right now. We’ll do it.”
Michele is the real deal, friends. She revealed and opened her heart with her happiness, her fears, hurts, victories, hopes, and losses. I HUGELY admire her, and I’m thrilled to have made a new friend.