Wednesday, February 26, 2014

What Lies Beneath

I viewed an article today about a woman named Beth Whaanga, of the UK who is a breast cancer survivor. She took to FB (FaceBook) to share her story of survival by posting pictures of herself wearing a beautiful red dress, followed by ones of her in the nude showing her mastectomy and hysterectomy scars.

If she was a random person walking down the street fully clothed, you would never know of the "secret" that she was hiding beneath her garments. She did it for "Under The Red Dress", a project that aims to start the conversation about the changes that bodies undergo after cancer surgeries. While I found her actions to be very courageous, there were some who were not too impressed with her nude appearance on their timelines, so much so that they unfriended her. This sparked a fiery debate on Huffington Post where people vehemently defended their opinions on what she did right vs. what she did wrong.

Being an ostomate, I totally understand Beth's plight. No one would ever know what was hiding out beneath my slim fitting dress or even a chunky knit sweater unless I shared. No, my surgery was not performed as the result of a cancer diagnosis, but patients who have Crohn's for 10 years or greater have an increased colon cancer risk. I suffered with Crohn's for 14 years before my surgery. I didn't have an option to keep it (my colon), but I had been through plenty already...and cancer was just not something I wanted to leave to chance.

Beth is a survivor. I wish she was my friend...and if she was, I wouldn't unfriend her for trying to raise awareness about breast cancer. I would share with her just how brave (and beautiful, in spite of her scars) that I think she is. What do you think?

Check out the article here

1 comment:

  1. You know, I think at times we never realize the pain that people may have or is currently going though. Many times we speak about this as something mental (meaning that they are hiding their feelings/emotions), but sometimes it is as simple as seeing past the outer layers of someone's dress.

    I don't have any personal disdain to the photos (especially after reading her stories and the reason behind these photos), I'm sure part of the goal of placing them on Facebook was to draw attention on a larger platform that could possibly circulate beyond their immediate circle (and apparently it has). It is my hope that those who take the time to examine the photos will also take the time to read the story and not jump to conclusions of thinking that these images are obscene.

    It is my prayer that Beth, yourself, and those who may be experiencing similar circumstances are not deterred or weakened in your resolve due to the naysayers and those who may step away. God has blessed you to go through the process and to now stand as those with a testimony of how to withstand adversity. Remain confident that those who truly know you, and care about you, love you through it all.