`Boudoir New York - Self Love Experience - Albany - Saratoga Springs - Troy_1336

If My Body Fails, Does that Mean I Didn’t Fight – Saratoga Springs | Albany | Troy | New York – Boudoir

This is a post where what I have to say is irrelevant. Read below for our clients perspective.

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“An overwhelming feeling of awe and pride radiated from me as I stepped into into Lindsay’s Self Love Experience, not for myself and what I was about to do, but for her hard work, constant growth, incredible talent, and success.

I was one of Lindsay’s first subjects at the start of her venture. Against a wall of tall windows in her apartment, she worked all of my angles with her single 50mm lens. Out of my comfort zone, Lindsay made it an upbeat, fun experience. But images that were to be my husband’s Christmas gift became so much more. Critical of myself in all things, I found I could see past my own emotional distortion and see what Lindsay saw in all women – power and beauty – even if it was from inside her bedroom closet where she could get just enough distance to frame the perfect shot.

Fast forward seven years and a dedicated studio later.

My body has spent the past 12 months being measured, analyzed, poisoned, anesthetized, amputated, dissected, and radiated by a team of oncologists. Allergic to various chemotherapies, I was in and out of the ER, sometimes nightly. Hospitalized for ulcerations, in need of morphine pain management, I lost 19 pounds in 10 days. Heart damage. Deflating veins. The list goes on.

Ultimately, the treatment was killing me. My soul left my dying body on more than one occasion. When it returned, I beat the walls with my fists, unable to escape my own physical prison. There were no good choices. Medical PTSD swirled with lingering sexual assault trauma. The similarities of bodily invasion and violation became triggering and inescapable. The only thing that stopped me from ending my life was the enormity of love I have for my husband. But I kept a bottle of pills with me at all times, just in case I needed that out.

Breast cancer fundraisers love to spout warrior talk, but warrior talk made me feel like, somehow, if my body could take just one more dose of chemo without my heart giving out, maybe I could will the beast out of me.But that cancer, it is me. And what does that mean? If I die from this, would that mean I didn’t fight hard enough? As my friend Lisa reminds me when I get into this headspace, “It was the doctors who refused you more treatment. With good reason. Your esophagus was falling out, for goodness sake!”

It is unclear whether I’m free of disease or not. Pet scans several months apart show a new, growing area of concern – possible metastases. But I’ve made a choice. I choose to not know. It’s impossible to truly live with that gun to my head.

Solidifying that choice last month, I was still blinded by the past year. All I could see was the shell of who I once was. I’ve gone on wig binges to recreate an image of the thriving woman I used to be. I’ve done colorful closet revamps trying re-imagine who I am becoming. No matter what, I’ve felt almost no semblance of sensuality, sexuality, softness, or desirability for a full year.

Once again, Lindsay, with your mission to empower and ability to put me at ease in my own skin, I’ve found a way to transform, and not just into a fanciful winged phoenix. Surprising myself on the way up your studio stairs, I allowed myself to fully embrace who I am in this moment – not hiding behind faux hair the way I did, even with my real hair. (What a revelation). Not stuffing an uncomfortable breast form in my clothes to even out a silhouette for the expectation of others. This is me, World, laughing as I try to stand winged in glorious glittered boots with uncooperative muscles. Standing tall. Falling over. Having fun. No apologies.

Lindsay and Natalie, you made this experience all I hoped it could be. In these images, I can finally see past so much loss, knowing I’ve gained so much more, like truly knowing the value of a single moment spent with my husband, a man whose offered me the deepest love I have ever known, and that intimacy comes in many forms – one in particular I’m happy to get back to. I no longer identify with and surround myself with people who fear connection, but allow myself to fully receive and give love to and from my most authentic friends. I always knew but finally feel that our greatest superpower lies in our willingness to be vulnerable. None of these things are possible without self love — not a selfish love, but one that overflows from its source and spills out to fill the hearts of others.

So, no more looking back. I can’t wait to explore this new version of me, to find out what she’s capable of. I embrace her new form, her scars, her unique pattern of growing silver strands. I look forward to her continued evolution, to getting to know her higher power. And I plan to enjoy her and share her openly, lovingly in every way possible, for as long as I can.” – Kim

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