I wanted to share the story behind the picture I entered in the "Breast Investigator's" Contest that you guys are voting for on my behalf. This is an excerpt from the project (solo book) I am currently writing, which is the story of my journey through two stage 4 cancers in my 30's.
My son, Caleb, took this picture the first time I lost my hair in 2004...he had already seen me battle the first cancer in 1998 at the tender age of five years old but the Vulva cancer was not treatable with chemotherapy so when the treatment from the second cancer (breast) in 2003 took my hair, I made the decision that I would offer him my head as a blank canvas to express his feelings towards the events he was now witnessing his mother face. He started out with a simple painting of eyes on the back of my head, joking that he wanted to tell his friends that his mother really did have eyes in the back of her head. Then he asked to photograph me on one of the worst days of my entire life. It was a day that I would challenge God to take me to heaven and end the suffering or grant me one of those TV preacher promises of a 'suddenly' and heal me instantly. My body was racked with greater pain than I knew was even possible. I could hardly lift my head but knew this moment, I could not afford to miss. It was a moment that was an unction from the Holy Spirit, Himself, proclaiming to me that God would use my son to unfold a truth on my behalf if I would dare to allow Him the opportunity. I thought it to be much less than it would become. I lessened it with my human reactions and responses. I imagined it as a tool that would bring my son to more familiarity with the current situation for an end results being that of comfort and less fear. I understand now it would be the chance for me to see myself, Caleb's mom, through his faith-filled eyes, that childlike faith that we as adults have forgotten. I wanted to name the picture, "Being For Real" but he was more than adamant to name the picture, "Light Shining Down On Her." To see myself through the eyes of my ten year old as I was in such a place of despair was a true gift from God. My son saw light shining through the window piercing the top of my hairless head and he interpreted it as hope and courage, strength and the Glory of God. I wanted to expose the pain of a human being's life as they battle cancer but he wanted to reveal the "Giver of Life."
-Angie Suttles (copyright 1/1/2011)