For the past 10 years (or more) I have been working on a book called “Reflections for My Soul”. This book shows the emotions that I experienced while dealing with a Stage 1 Breast Cancer diagnosis at the age of 34 and then again at 37 and how I was able to save my “soul/sanity” through photography. This blog was created to go along with the book.
I finished the book so many times and I never seem to be able to move forward to the publishing phase. It never seemed “good enough”, or it was “too sad” or “pictures aren’t perfect”. There was always a reason as to why it did not truly get finished.
I have vowed that I will be publishing “Reflections for My Soul” no later that January 2018. In order for me to keep this vow I need your help. You ask how can you help? Well that is easy. What I need are questions that you would ask or were hesitant to ask a person going through and surviving a health threat. No question is to invasive or irrelevant.
“Reflections for My Soul” will not be a pity party type of book but one that shows how I saved my soul/sanity through photography.
Once I get your questions I will answer them within my story and hopefully have one or two of you to review it and give me your opinion on things to change or to let me know it works.
Please bring on the questions!
As always thank you for visiting!
ps I hope you like my experiment into still life.
I have signed up for the Blogging 101 course and the first assignment is to introduce myself and explain why I blog.
I am a laid back easy-going woman in my late 40’s who was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2000 and again in 2003. I am a survivor now for sightly over 11 years. Between diagnosis, treatments and life my mind was on over load with a lot of negative thoughts.
During this time I treated myself to a camera and began snapping away. I viewed each picture as a small piece of my soul that was saved. As long as I was taking pictures I wasn’t thinking those negative thoughts again. It was a time of peace.
In May of 2011 Reflections for MY Soul the blog was born. It was initially for uplifting quotes, positive thoughts and the occasional gentle vent session with a photo or 2 sprinkled in there somewhere. This went on for just under 3 years with roughly 20 post made during this time.
April 2014 I set my mind to truly get into this blogging thing. I have posted and additional 240 post with all of them centered on photography, since that is what saved my Soul.
The goal is for Reflections for My Soul blog to work hand in hand with Reflections for My Soul the book (a work in progress). Eventually I would like to open this blog or another so that others can share how they were able to save their soul when they were facing a medical crisis.
Thanks for visiting and of course comments are welcome!
First I like to start by saying that I apologize for being so wordy.
While checking out my Facebook page this afternoon I kept seeing a bunch of RIP post about Stuart Scott passing today. I was not sure who he was till I saw a picture and a brief bio about him being a sportscaster for ESPN. He died as a result of complications from cancer today.
For those of you that have read my “about” page know that I am a breast cancer survivor going on twelve years. His story touched/hit me little different then it does most people. I am trying to process those feelings as I write this post.
There is a video clip that featured a speech that he did July 2014 at the ESPY Awards as he was the 2014 recipient of the Jimmy V (Valvano) Perseverance Award. I watched it. Why did I watch it?! I could have cried.
The things that he said made me further realize that I am not doing what I should be have been doing. One of his quotes was “You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and the manner in which you live. So live! Fight like hell!“. This hit me like a ton of bricks because I feel as though I have given in and let cancer win.
I allowed cancer to beat me…Cancer won!
I feel that I stopped living a long time ago. I have just been existing and existing is not living. I know all the positive things to do and say to others who I see in a similar situation but it is so much easier to have a “do as I say, not as I do” philosophy. I need to practice what I preach.
I need to live again. I need to find out who I am again. I need to do!
The title of this blog “Reflections for My Soul” is also the title to a book that I have been working on for a couple of years now. It is a brief autobiography on the mental stresses that I went thru (and still struggle with) while my body was being treated for breast cancer and what I did to relieve some of the stress and mental demons that I had (have).
This should have been completed a very long time ago. Excuses like the words aren’t right, the pictures could be better, no one will read it, no one will publish it, etc, etc, etc,… keep getting in my way preventing me from getting it done.
This is my number 1 goal for this year. Finish my book. Once it is finished I think I will be on my way to being OK again.
Thank you for letting me share my personal feelings and for the support that have received.
PS: The title is one of the things that Stuart Scott would say on his show.
I was 34 when I was first introduced to this monster. I was not ready to meet him yet. I am too young; I have 6 more years to mentally prepare myself for this predestined meeting.
I heard all the agonizing stories of the women who went before me and none of it was good.
You see this monster hurts every women that it touches. Regardless of our history we all dread having to see this monster. It takes us and squeezes and squeezes to the point that we feel that we will POP. I still do not know why we don’t.
And to make matters worse a woman is the one that makes it squeeze even harder. She lines you up for the kill shot time and time again.
Although I fear this monster I am equally grateful for it too. My monster detected breast cancer in me twice. As a result I have now been cancer free for over 10 years.
I had to visit my monster yesterday for my annual mammogram and luckily I only needed to endure 2 images. No tears today “ALL IS GOOD”!!
He has ventured from Los Angles, California back to New Jersey to face the Burlington County Court system. Check out the case information.
We all have dreams and aspirations of what we want to be or do in life. I discovered what I wanted to be when I hit my early 40’s, (better late than never) a Professional Nature Photographer. Being a 2x Breast Cancer survivor I had to find a way to release some of my inner demons. This was accomplished by taking long rides with my camera close by. It was a true way to find some peace and comfort with my thoughts. Relatives and friends even want to hang the pictures, my pictures, in their house (their main living areas!) which was amazing to me so I decided to self-publish my photos and to date I have made two books and even sold a few.
I look at some of the pictures that my “Twitter Friends” (ExpertVagabond, KenKaminesky) have taken and they look truly amazing and it makes me want to do it even more. It is just difficult to find enough time to truly work on the goals that I have set for myself. How does one make the goals and stay focused on the goal/task at hand? I am still struggling with this.
Going forward I am going to take photos every weekend and post something new with a little bit of commentary on the photograph.
Til next time……
To find my books go to www.blurb.com and search msr4chin.