Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Meet face 27....Kori

I have an old (not that we are old) high school friend who is currently fighting cancer.   Watching her posts on facebook and seeing how strong she is, made me want to do something.  Show the world that even when you are fighting everyday with chemo and the emotional toll it has on you, you are still the same beautiful person and always will be.
Since I could not do this for my friend, I posted a little note about it on my facebook page.  I said  wanted to photograph and tell the story of a woman fighting cancer and show that even with chemo and all it does to your body while it fights the cancer you are still beautiful.  Cancer doesn't define who you are, how you fight does.
With that said above........ I had the honor to meet Kori last week.   Here is her story:

  My husband I and had just been married the August before I got diagnosed in December and had been planning to have a family.  When I started to get a sharp pain in my stomach I thought I had appendicitis and all the doctors I spoke to thought I had a large cyst, no one thought I had cancer as a healthy 27 year old.  I scheduled a surgery for mid December to remove the large 'cyst' and my husband and I vowed to start our family after my recovery.  The morning I came out of surgery I knew something was not right; I finally asked the first team of doctors I saw the and was informed that I had stage three ovarian cancer and I would need to have a second surgery to have a full hysterectomy and potentially remove part of my colon.  I don't remember my first thought but what I do remember are the feelings.  I had a feeling of grief, literal heartache, and complete devastation knowing that my husband and I would not be able to have our own children.  From that moment forward, my definition of what my family would look like changed.  My husband was an incredible support to me at this time, knowing that I was not in this alone.  Both of our parents helped to emotionally support the two of us and were there for us every step of the way.  

   Not only did my definition of what my family would look like change but my view on life and what was important to me had significantly changed; I would no longer take special moments with my friends and family for granted and my views on what beauty is changed from hair and makeup to heart and character.  

A couple weeks into my chemo I attended a Look Good, Feel Better program held by the ACS and met a wonderful friend who was in a similar situation as I was with nearly the same time frame.  Connecting with someone who was going through the same things helped me tremendously.  She is such a special person and I am so lucky to have her in my life. Also, having a wonderful and caring infusion nurse and care team helped get me through my weekly treatments.  The chemo made my skin incredibly dry and the steroids made me break out a lot on my neck and back so I started to use coconut oil before I went to bed each night and my skin was like new after a couple days; I even think it helped my hair to start growing again!  

Every day I try to remind myself how fortunate I am to have such supportive friends and family and that my situation could be in a worse; everyday there is someone in this world fighting the good fight for their lives.  Life is beautiful and I am so grateful that I am able to continue to enjoy every day of mine with the people I love.

Thank you so much Kori for being part of my project and for telling your story.  I hope  with this post you get help others who are struggling with the emotional ups and downs that cancer can bring.


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