[This is a hard update to post. I will let Vanessa share in her own words. Please join with me and the rest of the SCAR Project Cincinnati Planning Committee in praying for Vanessa as she begins another round of kicking cancer's ass today.]
An update from Cincinnati SCAR Project participant/Cincinnati SCAR Project Planning Committee member Vanessa Tiemeier:
This is always difficult for me to share, because I don’t want to spring things on people, but…I had a head MRI last week b/c I was having severe headaches. Turns out there was a cluster of cancer cells that showed up on the scan. My doc explained that they are present in the protective lining of my brain, called the meninges. There are enough cells in the same place that have created a mass of sorts, large enough to make my skull bulge and push my brain out of the way. The doc also made sure to remind me that the caner isn’t actually in my brain, just pressing on it, which is good news I guess. So to date, my breast cancer has spread to my bones, my lungs, my lymph nodes, and now the lining of my brain. I resume active treatment and continue being thankful for TODAY.
I have to say that my recent news didn’t surprise me, but it of course is never easy to hear. It seems like so much has happened recently, in my life but also the world around me, that I have come to realize how precious life is and how lucky we are to share it with the ones who mean something to us. There are so many people living lives with diseases or challenges that they did not choose, that they have no control over, but are trying to just make the best of it. I feel like this aligns with the mission and objective of The SCAR Project. One thing that David Jay, The SCAR Project photographer, set out to do was pay tribute to the courage and spirit of so many brave young women. And the exhibition proves that so many women, young women, live with breast cancer everyday and that their struggle never goes away. But I think it also honors those with other challenges. Everyone has a story to tell. Everyone has struggles. I for sure have had mine to share, but I know there are many others like me. And many of you with your own challenges.
I’ve said it before, but I really mean it…live with passion. Live with intention. Live healthy. Live with no regrets. Live Sincerely. So in the spirit of Living Sincerely, I would most appreciate for you all to look inward and maybe take some time improving your own situation, so you can be present in your own life.☺ Life’s not easy, but I am challenging everyone out there to live, really live. If for no one else, do it for me.