• Michelle Baisa

Cancer Survivor Photo Session | Beauty & Glamour Photography

Updated: Aug 6, 2018

Where to begin with this lovely lady? I met with Beth in-person over coffee before her photo session to hear about her journey from cancer diagnosis to where she is now... a 10 year survivor... and was so captivated by everything she has been through, I couldn't wait to share her story with others who might benefit from it. (Beth's complete interview can be found on my IGTV channel - you can find me @michellebaisa on Instagram. I'm a much better photographer than videographer, though, so don't get your hopes up on the cinematography... the message is the most important thing. ;))

Beth was diagnosed with primary mediastinal large B cell lymphoma when she was 34 years old. At that time, there were only 200 cases of this particular cancer in the world. Her search for treatment led her to Northwestern where she found the doctor who would help her defeat her disease. Her treatment was not without problems, though. She developed a massive blood clot after surgery, was violently ill from chemotherapy, would dehydrate and end up back in the hospital, she lost every hair on her entire body, among many other things. She had an amazing support group who helped take care of her and her family, though, and eventually, after all the struggles, she would hear those words "no evidence of disease found."

Testing after treatment revealed that Beth was in menopause and could no longer have children. She already had one little boy and was thankful to be alive, so this revelation did not feel like the end of the world to her. Fast forward several weeks and... you guessed it... there was a miracle baby on the way. Son #2 entered the world, healthy as could be, despite the fact that he had been exposed to the cancer-fighting drugs still traveling through Beth's body. He was the gift she wasn't expecting and she is ever so grateful for him.

Beth does her best to view the world with a different set of eyes these days. She tries not to take anything for granted, enjoying the little things in life, knowing that our world can drastically change in an instant. Her story has touched me personally - even now as I type out just a brief summary of her journey, I am reminded of this fact. Life is a gift. We need to take advantage of our opportunities while they are right here in front of us.

Beth's photo session was incredibly fun. We were both so pleased with her images, it was really, really hard for her to narrow it down to what she would take home with her in her portfolio box. Ultimately, she made some beautiful choices. More importantly to me, though, she loved her entire experience. That's why I do what I do. I want my clients to feel absolutely amazing (I mean, sometimes they feel "silly" posing in the moment, but the results speak for themselves and they understand what it is I'm seeing while I shoot them).

After everything was said and done, Beth commented that she was so used to seeing a tired mother and midwife in the mirror (she has a really amazing, but busy career caring for other mamas and babies), that it was exciting to have these images she looks like a model in. Those are the words that filled my heart because I find a tremendous amount of joy myself in this entire personalized portraiture process and can only hope that my clients feel that joy, as well.

If you're looking for a similar portraiture experience to Beth's (and possibly would like to include a story you feel may touch others, as well), please contact me at the bottom of my page here or call 219-690-8224 to inquire about your own personalized session. I'd love to meet you.

Until next time,

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