Realism: the attitude or practice of accepting a situation as it is and being prepared to deal with it accordingly.

SARAH HORTON, author of Being Sarah and the Being Sarah Blog, the day after she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007. Sarah writes: “I wake the next morning and briefly forget. Then I remember. Shit. Life has changed.” Photograph by RONNIE HUGHES, 2007.

JENNIFER WISE MERENDINO was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008, had a double mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiation, and reconstructive surgery. Two years after treatment, the cancer returned, and spread. Jen’s husband documented their life until she died in 2011. Photographs from the Collection, “My Wife’s Fight with Breast Cancer,” by ANGELO MERENDINO, 2011.

  1. Jen hails a cab outside of her cancer center, after a doctor visit runs 2 ½ hours late.
  2. Jen sits on her bed with her cat, as she reviews her daily pill regimen. 
  3. Thumbnail photographs from the Collection, “My Wife’s Fight with Breast Cancer.”

Screen shot My Wife's Fight w BC

SUZAN was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009. She had chemotherapy, bilateral mastectomy, hysterectomy, lymph node removal, and radiation. Drainage tubes extended from her abdomen for weeks, requiring daily flushing.

RACHEL CHEETHAM MORO wrote a lot about realism on her blog, The Cancer Culture Chronicles, which she published from June 2009 until her death, from metastatic breast cancer, in February 2012. Many of her words struck me the time I knew her. She said, “This ‘conversation with despair’ is necessary despite it being hard for many to hear. My response to those who don’t want listen, is this. Try hearing the words ‘you have cancer.’ That’s harder.”

Rachel walking into the ocean 600x800

The SCAR Project is a series of large-scale portraits of young breast cancer survivors. Primarily an awareness raising campaign, The SCAR Project puts a raw, unflinching face on early onset breast cancer by DAVID JAY.

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