{Curvy Boudoir Session} Take that Breast Cancer from Flutter ~ Intimate Sessions by Chamberlin Photography

{Curvy Boudoir Session} Take that Breast Cancer from Flutter ~ Intimate Sessions by Chamberlin Photography

I absolutely love when plus size women incorporate their personalities in their boudoir sessions and I especially love when a curvy women includes everything about herself even if that includes surviving breast cancer.  I’m not going to lie breast cancer really scares me which is one of the reasons I wanted to share Amanda’s story from Flutter ~ Intimate Sessions by Chamberlin Photography. I’ve been holding onto it for a few months but just knew that October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month would be the most appropriate month to feature it and have it hit home with women to do their own due diligence about testing themselves, going in for mammograms and following their gut feeling because no one knows your body better than yourself.

Amanda’s Story

On November 12, 2006, I realized it had been almost a year since I had done a self-breast exam. I used to do them every month. For some reason I fell out of the habit. While doing the exam, in my left breast I felt a hard lump, about the size of a kidney bean. It was very sore to the touch. My heart sank. I was scared that it could be cancer. I had to go to my doctor on November 17th for a check-up anyway, so I decided to ask him about it. After my check-up, I mentioned the lump to him. He said he noticed it, but it was nothing to worry about. He told me since I was only 28, I was too young to have breast cancer. He advised me to keep an eye on it and if it was still there or grew larger within 6 months to come back to him.

The entire weekend I felt uneasy. Knowing my body, I knew something was wrong. I called his office Monday morning and pushed for them to get a mammogram scheduled for me. They did. On December 14, 2006, my mom and I went for my mammogram. I was so sick to my stomach not knowing if it was going to hurt and what they would find. Needless to say, it was not the most comfortable procedure, but it did not hurt. Once the nurse was finished, she told me to sit in the dressing room, not to get dressed yet and she would be back with me shortly. About 5 minutes later, another nurse came in and told me to get dressed, the doctor needed to see me. I started to go numb, this could not be a good thing that the doctor wanted to talk to me. I went into his office, his assistant was in there. She asked me if that was my mother in the waiting room. I said yes, she asked if I wanted her to get my mom. I told her yes. While I was waiting for them to come in, I remember seeing a beautiful picture of a garden on the wall. I wished I was in that garden instead of the doctor’s office. My mom, the doctor and his assistant joined me a few minutes later. The Dr proceeded to tell me that he saw something “suspicious” on the mammogram and he wanted me to go to another doctor for more tests that day. I think my mom was holding my hand, but to be honest, I don’t remember because my body was so numb at that point. We went to the other doctor’s office. They took me back and the doctor did an ultrasound of my breast. When she was done, she sat me up and with tears in her eyes, told me it was cancer. My world stopped and I went deaf from the shock. I barely muttered to her to get my mom. My mom came in and I just shook my head at her. The doctor showed us the images from the tests and told us about the tumor. I heard nothing that she said. Shock had taken over at that point.

curvy boudoir, breast cancer awareness curvy boudoir, breast cancer awareness

She scheduled the biopsy and also scheduled for me to have a lumpectomy ASAP. I went for my biopsy shortly after I found out it definitely was cancer. It was Stage 2, HER 2 Positive. HER 2 is the most aggressive from. January 4th, 2007 I went in to the hospital for my lumpectomy. A week after my surgery, I was taking a nap and the phone rang. It was the surgeon’s office. They were calling to tell me they did not get all of the cancer and it had spread to my lymph nodes. I cried so hard out of frustration. I made the decision to have a mastectomy. I wanted the breast gone. On January 22, 2007 that is what I had done. Once I was healed from surgery, I went in to begin chemo. That was in February 2007. I had my sister in law shave my head prior to treatment as I knew my hair was going to fall out anyway. The first treatment made me sicker than I have ever been in my life. I was in and out of the hospital. I told them I was not going to do that again. They put me on a different treatment along with another medicine called Herceptin. This was used to treat the HER 2 cancer. Without this drug, I would not have survived, only prolonged my life.

curvy boudoir, breast cancer awareness curvy boudoir, breast cancer awareness

curvy boudoir, breast cancer awareness

Over the next couple of weeks, I was sick, not eating much, but gaining lots of weight from the steroids, and my scalp was hurting so bad. That is something they don’t tell you, your scalp hurts when your hair gets ready to fall out! I woke up one morning, 2 weeks to the day of my first treatment, I went in the bathroom, and what little bit of hair I had, started falling out. I teared up, but held back from crying. I had to tell myself this was part of the process. My son took it the hardest. He was only 6 at the time and thought my hair was never going to come back. It was pitiful! But, the fun thing was I was able to get all kinds of wigs and scarves. I continued chemo every couple of weeks for 3 months. Once my chemo was done, I just had to go back for the Herceptin for a year total. On January 30, 2008, I completed my last treatment and went into remission. It was a wonderful day.

curvy boudoir, breast cancer awareness curvy boudoir, breast cancer awareness curvy boudoir, breast cancer awareness

On January 22, 2011, I had my reconstructive surgery. I went 4 years without a left breast and now I have one again! My confidence is definitely up now I still have to go to the oncologist for check-ups every 6 months, but it is a small price to pay for being here. I hope that all of you ladies out there will do a monthly self-breast exam. If you find a lump, ask the doctor about it. If he tells you that you are too young, tell him cancer knows no age! If I had listened to my Dr and waited 6 months, I would have been dead. Given my age and the aggressiveness of the cancer, it would have spread very quickly and I would have been terminal. Recently, my boyfriend entered me in a contest to win a boudoir photo session. He wanted me to feel as beautiful as he sees me. I won the session with Flutter ~ Intimate Sessions by Chamberlin Photography.

curvy boudoir, breast cancer awareness curvy boudoir, breast cancer awareness curvy boudoir, breast cancer awareness

curvy boudoir, breast cancer awareness curvy boudoir, breast cancer awareness curvy boudoir, breast cancer awareness

I was a bit nervous at first, knowing I would be showing off my scars. That nervousness passed very quickly once I met Mary, the photographer. She made me feel so comfortable and kept me smiling throughout the session. Once I saw the pictures, and how beautiful they looked, including my scars, I found a whole new level of confidence. I do not look at my scars as ugly, but as a badge of honor. I thank my boyfriend for nominating me and I thank Mary at Flutter for such an amazing opportunity.

 

The following two tabs change content below.
Shafonne Myers is a certified wedding and event planner who longed for bridal inspiration that looked like her. She has created a website and magazine that brings bridal inspiration to plus size brides. She does speaking engagements educating the world about plus size brides and self confidence.
plus size self confidence
About the author
Shafonne Myers is a certified wedding and event planner who longed for bridal inspiration that looked like her. She has created a website and magazine that brings bridal inspiration to plus size brides. She does speaking engagements educating the world about plus size brides and self confidence.

One Comment

  1. WOW! This woman is GORGEOUS, scar or no scar, curvy or no — ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS! I’m so happy you’re healthy and that your treatment plan worked for you. You look utterly amazing, and I am IN LOVE with your haircut! Beautiful photos.

Comments are closed.