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The Breast Cancer Chronicles

  • 2 of 7

Jacki Donaldson

What Cancer Looks Like

It took nearly two weeks after my head was shaved for me to muster the courage to pose for this photo. Melissa Etheridge inspired me. She had just completed chemo for breast cancer and performed at the Grammys in February of 2005, baring her own bald head for the world to see. I thought she was beautiful and brave, so I followed her lead, displaying my most visible sign of cancer. My guys also lifted me up. My younger son, Danny, who wasn’t yet 2 and didn’t know anything was wrong, provided much-needed hugs and kisses. And one day Joey said: “Don’t worry, Mommy. You’re not going to die—it’s only a haircut.” He was right.

Jacki Donaldson and Mom

Strong Support

It may have been only a haircut, but I didn’t like it. So I bought wigs made of human hair. I topped them with hats and wore them every day. The straight wig in this photo reminded me of the person I knew before cancer. This was my goal: To look like nothing had changed, when in reality, life was spiraling out of my grasp. My mom helped me stay sane. She sat with me during chemo, cooked for my family, took the kids to school and played with them when I needed a nap. Much of my strength came from the kindness of others—like my friend Bev, who gave me a vase full of tulips, a group of moms who delivered a handmade quilt and another pal who left the inspirational book Love, Medicine & Miracles (Harper Perennial), by Bernie S. Siegel, M.D., on my doorstep.

Images: Jacki Donaldson

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Read more: Cancer, Conditions, Health

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10 comments

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11:07AM PDT on Jul 21, 2014

Thank you :)

12:56PM PST on Feb 2, 2014

Thank you for sharing.

3:24AM PST on Dec 31, 2013

Thanks

1:09AM PST on Dec 31, 2013

Thank you :)

9:44PM PDT on Sep 4, 2013

Thank you :)

1:31AM PST on Jan 14, 2012

Thanks for sharing.

3:19PM PST on Jan 9, 2012

Thanks for sharing.

5:38PM PST on Jan 8, 2012

thanks

12:55AM PST on Dec 22, 2011

Thanks for the read.........have a good friend who was diagnosed with breast cancer 2 weeks ago...another that fought and won over 10 years ago......a cousin that eventually died from it.

12:31PM PDT on Oct 23, 2011

I feel sorry for all the women who go through cancer treatment.
Cancer can be healed NATURALLY I am a living example.
Cancer treatment is big business for the Pharmaceutical companies and the medical profession.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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