At two weeks away from my 44th birthday I was diagnosed with breast cancer. This news hit me like a ton of bricks. I had already seen my sister go through it twice, once at my age, and again at this time. I knew what was coming and was not looking forward to it. Having cancer is hard enough but the treatments for hormone sensitive breast cancer attack elements and characteristics that make a lot of women feel like, well, a woman; breast, hair, estrogen. I must admit, I loved my boobs!! They played a major role in the image I had of my sexy self. My boobs were gorgeous (to me anyway), and I could even have been at times accused of flaunting them. 😉
But since the lumpectomy, I have had to face having breasts with very different sizes. To be honest, since I had been told that my tumor was small, it did not really register for me at the time how different my beasts would look after the operation. I was only concerned about the cancer afflicted breast; making sure the surgeon would not butcher it (or my nipple), and getting the cancer out of me ASAP. It has been really difficult for me to identify again with my sexy self. I’ve been looking for her and not really finding her. Of course I could have work done on the other breast, but since my sister’s cancer came back after only four years, I’m thinking I should wait and see first. Another reason why I felt as though sexiness was escaping me is that, because of my sister’s situation, it was judged more prudent to put me into menopause right away. As a result, once the cancer treatments were over, I had my ovaries removed. I was not planning on having anymore children, but still, my seeds made my feel womanly.
Finally, in addition to not having my ovaries anymore, and thus pumping much less estrogen, I am to take pills for five to ten years to destroy the estrogen produced in the rest of my body (from fat and muscles tissues). I am thus a woman living completely without estrogen. A woman 100% without woman elixir.
So there it is! I’m on a quest to reclaim my sexiness! It’s on this quest that the idea of having a pinup photo session was born. After a little research I found the photographer Chantal Benoit. Even though during the consultation I still could not imagine myself actually posing in front of a camera, I felt at ease with Chantal and trusted her. She seemed to really care about me and touched by what I was going through. Then the day came and it was a blast! First I had my pinup hair and make-up by Allison from Bombshell Hair Design. The transformation was a really fun process. As I was driving to the photo session I was excited but also wondering how in this world I was going to be able to actually pose for the camera. Chantal greeted me with a warm smile. We rushed upstairs and I showed her the “kits” I was planning on wearing. She was amazing at helping me choose from the many pairs of shoes and jewelry I had brought. In the end we settled on three “kits”, one of which was hers (the waitress). She then left me alone to change. While changing and sipping on a glass of nicely chilled white wine, I was even more excited but at the same time, felt more self conscious. “How am I going to do this”, I thought to my self as I bravely went down the stairs to where the photo shoot would take place. I entered the room feeling shy but within seconds she was helping me strike a pose and I stopped feeling self conscious and started to fully enjoy every moment! It was such a wonderful experience!
And guess what? I felt sexy!!! That feeling was reaffirmed when I went to the showing to choose the photographs I wanted to keep. I felt fantastic and beautiful. I saw with my own two eyes that the sexiness that I thought had left me never truly did! It was a very emotional moment for me.
Now, when or if ever in doubt about this again, all I will have to do is look at my pictures and it will vanish away.
Thank you Chantal!