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This post shows mild nudity! (all parts ARE covered though. You see more on a public beach than you’ll see in the photo πŸ˜‰ ) If you are easily offended, PLEASE, I am begging you, do not proceed. The photo shown is beautiful, inspiring, and, as has been the case for several people, may make you cry. HOWEVER, this photo does have nudity in it. If this is offensive to you, please, feel free to close the post now, I will not hold it against you.

When I first had the idea for the photo, I wasn’t even sure I could do it, it was so far removed from my norm. So when I broached the idea to the woman’s daughter about doing the photo, she emphatically told me her mother would NEVER agree to it. I wasn’t going to push it because, frankly, I wasn’t sure I could do it. I am the Queen of Modesty.

But when I spoke to the woman herself, she told me she loved the idea and she’d love to participate. And quoting her:

“I’ve beat cancer. I can do anything!” And the smile on her face told me, not only could I do it, I almost had to! Hers is a story, and a triumph, worth sharing.

Gail had a regular mammogram in 2002, when they found the lump. Within days, she had an ultrasound and a needle biopsy where it was determined it was indeed cancer. Within a week, she had a mastectomy. She’d been through this fight with her mother, and again with a close friend, so by the time she traveled the road herself, she knew what her decision would be, and she knew instantly.

Gail is amazing. I hope the photo portrays that. She is amazingly strong, but in a gentle, sweet way. (Is that an oxymoron?) I love her eyes, they show her softness, but what her hands reveal is the battle she fought…..

…..and WON!

I debated doing the photo at all, but if her story inspires even one person, gives just one person hope, then it was worth it. Yes, it is revealing. Yes, it shows too much skin. And yes, decidedly, I may have crossed that line. But cancer is not pretty. It does not discriminate where it hits. It is not soft or gentle. It is devastating and awful.

And for some, one that can be conquered.

And I believe if you look in Gail’s beautiful eyes, you will see the beauty behind her battle.