More Than Our Scars
Earlier this year, Michael Rosenberg Photography partnered with Susan G Komen Puget Sound to create the portrait series, More Than Our Scars, which aimed to redefine breast cancer and its survivors. During this portrait series we met eleven incredible women and heard parts of their stories through interview. Read along and learn about these strong, beautiful women and their journey thus far.
We will be releasing a new story every Sunday with images from their sessions and behind the scenes images. Also, we will be releasing more behind the scenes videos as we complete them. So keep an eye out on our facebook and instagram pages for more!
Interview with Kathleen Sutton
My name is Kathleen Sutton.
Why did you join this portrait project, More Than Our Scars, with Michael Rosenberg Photography?
I agreed to the portrait project because I feel all awareness is good awareness. And getting awareness out about metastatic breast cancer is my main goal. So that’s what I hope people will get out of this. Seeing that even if you’re diagnosed with metastatic Stage 4 you can keep living, you can survive and you can thrive. Also, if you’re diagnosed during pregnancy, your child will be healthy and normal and can have a normal life.
A lot of people are unaware of metastatic cancer and what that means. Metastatic just means your cancer has spread and once it’s spread it’s considered incurable. It’s the cancer that actually kills people. Breast cancer doesn’t kill people metastatic breast cancer kills people. So we want awareness for that, because that is what will actually find us a cure.
What message do you have for those newly diagnosed with breast cancer?
For someone newly diagnosed, I want them to know there’s hope. That they are not alone. That there are resources that makes it possible to overcome the odds. While the odds may look daunting and aren’t great, know that you can overcome them and you can not only survive, you can thrive.
Who would you say was your biggest support through all of this? Were there any surprises, people you weren’t expecting to help or?
When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer, I was six months pregnant with my son. So that was my biggest inspiration and reason for fighting and going through chemo and surgeries. I needed to watch my son grow up, I needed to watch him live and he needed his mom. That was my biggest driving factor in…everything.
After my diagnosis, I didn’t think there had been anybody in my situation. I thought that somebody with Stage 4 cancer while pregnant…hadn’t been done. I’ve since learned that it’s not all that uncommon. In fact, I’m in a group of around 200 women who have been diagnosed while pregnant. We all have happy, healthy babies. I wish I’d known that before I had my son, because it would have relieved some of my worries.
Is there anything else you would like to share about your journey?
You can do chemo while you’re pregnant. It’s perfectly safe, it doesn’t cross the placenta. My baby was born with a full head of hair. This was very reassuring to me, something I didn’t realize I was worried about because I was bald as could be. When he was born, and there was that full head of hair, there was just that little bit of reassurance that my chemo did not get to him. He was fine and it didn’t touch him.
My nurse made my oncologist swear up and down that she wasn’t going to hurt my baby before giving me chemo, because it isn’t that commonly known. From one medical center to another, it might not be seen that often. So even nurses and oncologists don’t have a lot of experience with it. Just know that you’re not alone, there are lots of people out there who have done it, it can be done and it’s perfectly safe.
Why do you support Komen Puget Sound?
I support Komen Puget Sound projects in the hopes that it will keep them accountable in making the difference they say they are. That they will find the cure, that they will start paying attention to metastatic cancer. They had a metastatic cancer conference this year, which was the first one in history. So, that’s a good step forward. I keep working with them just to keep my face in their vision. Hopefully it inspires them to save me and let me be around for my baby. Mostly I am helping them reach the metastatic community, while holding them accountable for helping the metastatic community at the same time.
Last Question, how did you feel about your session today for the More Than Our Scars project with Michael Rosenberg Photography?
I would say this was a great experience. It’s always nice to get that extra attention, get my makeup done, get my hair done and feel extra pretty. It was fun despite my uncooperative toddler. I’m sure those make the best pictures anyways. You know the pictures of the kids crying at Santa are better than the ones where they’re happily smiling. So, I’m sure there will be some great things there. It’s been a great experience and I’m thankful for the opportunity. Can’t wait to see what comes out of it!
Learn more about Michael Rosenberg Photography and our projects by exploring our website! We are a fine art portrait studio focusing on family portraits, senior portraits, and more. Meet the stylists who were a big part of More Than Our Scars and another of our projects, Our Generation, by clicking here.
Reach out to us with any of your questions or comments, we’re always happy to hear from you!
Other More Than Our Scars Participants from Komen Puget Sound
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