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 Pamela Baade
Why did you join this portrait project, More Than Our Scars, with Michael Rosenberg Photography?
I said yes to the portrait project because I thought it could be helpful to other women going through breast cancer. I thought about it for a while. And decided that if I could help other women going through this to know that they can have a normal life while going through treatment, then it would be worth sharing my story.
Would you like to share anything about your journey?
My journey started with a very dear friend going through cancer. I was one of her caregivers and helped her along the way through surgery and chemo treatments. Never in my wildest dreams did I think it would happen to me. However, a year later, I found a lump in one of my breasts. Now, I wasn’t really worried about this lump because I was used to getting them every now and then. I figured it was just another cyst, something that can happen for women with dense breasts. The good thing is that it caused me to go in and get my yearly mammogram.
And just as I thought…
The lump was nothing more than a cyst. However, I was shocked to learn that the mammogram and ultrasound revealed that I had cancer in both my breasts. Interestingly, I had two different types of cancer. I was told this was actually a good thing. Because it meant the cancer hadn’t spread from one breast to another. It was devastating news but having gone through the process with my friend made me think ‘if she can do it, I can do it.’ So, that was my inspiration. I knew that I could deal with it just as she had.
What message do you have for those newly diagnosed with breast cancer?
I would say reach out to your friends. Reach out to other people, surround yourself with good stuff, and don’t sweat the bad stuff. Being around positive people will always lift you up. You can get through it. You are much stronger than you think you are. That’s what I learned.
Who would you say was your biggest support through all of this? Were there any surprises, people you weren’t expecting to help or?
My best friend and my mom were my two biggest supporters. They joined me for meetings with my doctors, asked great questions and were always there to help get through it all. Also, I had great support from my co-workers and friends in the community.
Looking back, I’ve learned that you don’t really realize what other people are going through when they’re diagnosed with cancer. You hear about it and you don’t always know what to do. But, I would say send people support. Whether it’s a card or stopping by with some soup, or lunch, or flowers. Help brighten someone’s day by just letting them know that you care.
Why do you support Komen Puget Sound?
I’m in a unique position because I’ve had a relationship with Komen Puget Sound for the last eight years through my work at Holland America Line. I’ve been fortunate to host 400 breast cancer survivors every year onboard our ships for lunch and they always inspire me.
When I was diagnosed with cancer, Komen Puget Sound was one of the first to reach out to me. They let me know that they were there to be supportive. With several of them dropping me a line to check in along this journey and make sure I was doing well. I know they are there to help me if needed, so it’s been really nice.
Last Question, how did you feel about your session today for the More Than Our Scars project with Michael Rosenberg Photography?
When Michael Rosenberg Photography approached me to do the breast cancer portrait project, I was a little on the fence about it. I wasn’t sure I really wanted to do this. And ultimately, I decided that if I could help other women through this project, that would be great. Michael Rosenberg Photography made me feel super comfortable. I didn’t really know what to expect but I was impressed by their professionalism.
The last time I had a professional photo taken was my senior pictures in high school. That was an awfully long time ago so I figured this was a great opportunity to have some photos taken. When I heard there was going to be a stylist helping me select my clothes for the shoot and someone to do my makeup, I thought, ‘who gets that kind of opportunity very often?’ So, ultimately, I said yes and I’m glad I did.
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