Jill Brzezinski-Conley, Breast Cancer Patient, Stars In Stunning Paris Photo Shoot By Sue Bryce (PHOTOS, VIDEO)
The "model," Jill Brzezinski-Conley, was diagnosed with breast cancer a day before her 32nd birthday, underwent a double mastectomy -- and now, at 35, has incurable stage-4 breast cancer which has metastasized to her bone.
In late August, Brzezinski-Conley, who lives with her husband in Kentucky, went to visit her childhood friend Nikki Closser, a wedding photographer in Seattle. "[Nikki] took pictures of me, and I was like, 'Nikki, I want you to take pictures of my breasts so that maybe we can send in the photos to magazines for breast cancer month [in October],'" Brzezinski-Conley told The Huffington Post. "[The media] never shows what breast cancer looks like."
After the session, Closser emailed the pictures along with Brzezinski-Conley's story to Bryce, whose work she had admired. Inspired, Bryce contacted both women right away and invited Brzezinski-Conley to Skype into a CreativeLIVE workshop where she surprised her with the offer of a photo shoot -- in Paris. Three weeks later, Bryce, Brzezinski-Conley and Closser were off to the City of Light for five days, with a videographer in tow.
"It was a million times better than what I ever dreamed of," said Brzezinski-Conley. "For the first time, in those five days, I felt like Cinderella. I didn’t feel like a cancer patient. They made me feel like a supermodel, and it was the nicest feeling ... I didn’t want to go back home."
She hopes that her story -- and the images that accompany it -- will inspire other women to feel good about their bodies, regardless of how they look. She especially hopes that they reach other women in their 20s and 30s who are battling cancer. "I wanted the photo shoot to be for women who look like me, [to show them that] they can still feel sexy and beautiful," Brzezinski-Conley told HuffPost.
But she doesn't want the only message she gets across to be about beauty. She's also passionate about educating young women about breast cancer, since she put off seeing a doctor for a year after she noticed that she had an inverted nipple. "If I would’ve known [that] an inverted nipple was a sign of breast cancer, I would've gotten checked up right away," she told HuffPost. "I always wonder if my cancer would have been at a different stage [if I had]." Her advice to young women is simple: "Be educated, learn your body, learn the signs of breast cancer."
Brzezinski-Conley wants us to start seeing breast cancer instead of just talking about it -- and these personal photos are certainly more memorable than a pink ribbon.
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Here is the comment I left to encourage others and show there is hope:
there is hope:
I presented with cancer symptoms in Nov-1998!
I had Kidney Cancer!
I have had a radical nephrectomy
Tumours in the abdomen.
In April 2011 my oncology consultant said he did not believe I could expect to live much past June or July!
As it promised pain care and hands on attention - NOT a realistic chance of cure - I opted for high dosage chemo and after that high level Radio therapy.
I'm still here and was declared cancer free for the first time in 13 years 18 months ago.
My scans last Thursday still show me cancer free.
Never forget YOU may have cancer but NEVER let cancer have YOU!
Sh*t happens but that is NEVER an excuse to roll in it.
Congratulations to Jill as if one has one day, one week, one month, one year or an entire lifetime left to you there is no excuse for self pity and no reason to be miserable - leave your family, your friends and the world with an image of your smile!
Good luck Jill.
I just want to say sorry for copping out at times and leaving Lee and friends to cope!
If YOU want to follow my fight against Cancer from when it started and I first presented with symptoms see The TAB just below the Header of this Blog. called >DIARY of Cancer< just click and it will give you a long list of the main events in chronological order.
Thoughts and comments will be in chronological order in the main blog and can be tracked in the >ARCHIVE< in the Right Sidebar.
You may find the TABS >MEDICAL LINKS< and also >CANCER LINKS< of help.
YOU are welcome to call me if you believe I can help in ANY way. .
Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins