Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Capturing Your: Heart


Cancer. A word that no one wants to hear. There are so many thoughts that go through your mind when you hear that one word…none which are good. My brother went in last week to have surgery on his knee to remove a tumor that was growing around his knee cap, a tumor we believed that was benign. It would take about 2 hours, he would be in recovery, then off of work for 8 weeks, then given the ok to return back to work….or so we thought.

After hours of waiting, the doctors came out and informed my parents that they were unable to perform the surgery as schedule. Red flags…everywhere. So many questions and no answers. I think that is the hardest part, just waiting…because naturally your mind starts playing the crazy game with you. So, when my family was finally able to see David in the recovery room, they learned that is was indeed cancer. Even more questions. What? How? Shock. More Shock. What next? What type? I mean….just A LOT of questions and emotions racing through your body. It was definitely NOT the result that we expected that night. I was able to talk with my brother David that night and hear it directly from his mouth. He’s a joker and from the very beginning of this whole ordeal, I initially thought it was a joke….a mean one at that.

I can’t imagine how it feels to be told that you have cancer…watching from the sidelines is bad enough. The hardest part about this whole thing is waiting for the answers. What type of cancer is it? Is it curable? What stage? What about treatment? It can make a person go CRaZy! However, I was truly encouraged by David’s trust and response to this horrific news. Instead of feeling sorry for himself, he was reflecting and stating how this will be a good testament of his faith and trust in God. Personally, not sure if that would be my first thought, I would hope it would be, but based on my reaction to this news, I’m so far off.

I am constantly reminded by other people’s trials how frivolous mine are. I am not trying to minimize my struggles, since they are very *real* to me and have caused me such great pain. But it’s easy to put life and it’s issues in perspective when you see that there are much greater things in life. It forces me to reflect on my responses to certain situations and what is truly important to me. I so wish that my first response would be to look on how I can use this situation to help others, but honestly, my first instinct is survival.

So as I personally reflect on this life changing trial, I can see how this will impact the way that I react to life’s trials. In addition, I know this will affect how I view each life that I capture through my lens….knowing they are someone’s daughter, son, wife, brother, child, mother, father….somebody loved. I am so fortunate to be a part of the many lives that I capture and have them entrust me with their special occasion. These will be a part of their history and pictures that will be shared for a lifetime.

My brother David has a long journey ahead of him. We are so GRATEFUL that his cancer is curable and we’ll be there for him every step of the way. His treatments will begin next week and will last approximately 6 months. He will be tired, he will be sick, but he will be cured, his health will be restored, and his faith will be strengthen. I was able to do a little mini session of my brother and his family when they were visiting this past summer. Already my perspective has changed on how I look at these pictures. Instead of being critical of my “photography/editing skills”, thinking how I can make this look better, comparing my work to others, I simply just see the faces that are smiling back at me….which in turn makes me smile. I know there are many of you who are reading this who have a family or friend who has been affected by cancer. I would love hear about your loved one, their story and journey, words of wisdom and encouragement. Thank you for letting me share this very raw moment of my life.

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Here's a song that couldn't say it any better.


  1. thank you for posting these pics. they bring back great memories of that awesome vacation. can't wait to hug you all. thank you also for sharing your heart:)

  2. Michelle - as always, your photographs are amazing. Know that you are also in my prayers as you go through this trial with your brother. Our God is an AWESOME God, and will be right there every step of the way. And don't forget this........I'm also a non-Hodgkins survivor, by the grace of God!!! So even though you WILL have those "down" days, be encouraged. So glad you will be able to come out next week to be with David at the start of his journey. I know he will treasure the time with you, and praying that it will be an encouraging time for you.

  3. the funny face one just plain rules! big canvas!!!!