This entry was written by Lynne Goldstein, a photographer & breast cancer survivor:
When I tell people that I have had five different cancers (not including a brain tumor which was benign, yet surprisingly inconvenient), I think I perform a service for them. Maybe for a second they feel better about themselves after hearing my history.
As for me, I’m still struggling. I guess I always will. Sometimes when it occurs to me that I actually have had cancer multiple times, I stop and think, “That can’t be. I must be mistaken.” Even after six years of being cancer-free, the shock still hits me – and this is after years of psychotherapy … Twice a week. Every week. For six years. (Not including national holidays.)
My lovely therapist has told me that I am, indeed, moving on. So I believe him. After all, he is the one with the degree hanging in his office.
“Channel your creativity,” he tells me. So I have decided to fall back on my photography, my passion. For years I have been taking pictures of animals, flowers, architecture, fluffy clouds, even family members (though they keep confiscating my camera). I never thought about putting photography and cancer together. It seemed too much of a cliché.
But I was wrong. Though telling the story about my illnesses through the camera lens has been painful, exposing, maddening, emotional, and, finally, ‘almost, yet not-quite-accepting,’ it has also provided a way for me to create a visual for my feelings. The result, and for want of a better title, is my ‘cancer series.’ It begins with chaos, transforms to anger, and finally goes from a blackness to a more hopeful palette. However, it remains, and will remain, unended.
When you look at a few of the photos in the series that I have included below, you may see different things. The shapes may be recognizable and yet a little off-center, not true to nature. You can focus on what seems to be the subject in the photo. Or you can search for what might be represented in the negative spaces in order to gain a different perspective. No matter what you see, I hope that they evoke some personal response. Or even just an aesthetic one. Regardless of your experience, I am just happy to share them with you.
Whatever your state of mind, whatever your history, whatever your situation…
It’s all how you look at it.
What do you think of Lynne’s work? What emotions are conveyed through the images? How do you express your struggle with breast cancer (or any disease for that matter)?