In 2006, the cancer returned and my mother lived with the disease for another four years before she passed away in 2010. While she knew that a cure was no longer possible, she was determined to live the rest of her life to the fullest. She acted in several plays and films, never missing a performance even at her weakest. Each night, she transformed into characters who lived free of cancer and for those brief hours, her energy was restored. Acting was her therapy, or as she called it: Doctor Theatre. It was an integral part of her treatment and healing. Throughout her illness, photography was my therapy. The lens allowed me to look at her changed body, to make sense of the endless treatments and ultimately to be closer to her. While the photographs highlight upsetting moments of vulnerability and hopelessness, they also show her incredible will to overcome this disease with both strength and grace. My mother’s will to live was empowering for me and, I hope, will continue to be for other women and their families who are battling cancer. This experience showed me who my mother really was, and it brought us together in ways I could never have imagined.This is our journal.
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