Calgary boudoir photographer
Kim, Where do I begin? I’ll start with sharing her story.
let’s start at the beginning!
I was 21 when I was diagnosed, which is actually old for what I have (it’s a “childhood” cancer).
I was diagnosed with osteosarcoma (bone cancer) after experiencing severe knee pain after a minor knee injury. The pain grew progressively worse over a few months until I finally went in for X-rays. I thought it was a meniscal tear but the X-rays had a big black mass right in the middle of my right knee so I went for my first appointment at the Tom Baker and within a week, I started treatment. I had Cisplatin and Doxyrunicin treatments as outpatient (I would go in for about 3 hours 3 days in a row to have my treatments administered) and high dose Methotrexate inpatient treatments (I would stay in-hospital for almost 10 days at a time until my toxicity levels were low enough for me to not have to be monitored and go home). About 2 weeks after my very first chemo treatment, my hair started to fall out. There was no fucking way that’s how I was gonna lose my hair. So I had my mom shave my head (with Devs support of course) my mom was a god send during that part of my life. She was a registered nurse and was able to give me all my injections and change my pic line dressing at home. Between my mom sleeping on a cot at the end of my bed and Dev sleeping in the hospital bed with me, I was never alone in the hospital. Dev was going to school full time when I was going through treatment and I could never sleep during the night when I was there because I would get such bad anxiety so every day after school he would come to the hospital and literally just let me sleep on him. I ended up in a wheel chair for like 6 months before my amputation and my mom had to lug that thing EVERYWHERE. It was craziness. It’s so heavy!
As for life expectancy, I have no idea, I never asked and I refuse to look it up on the Internet. Whatever happens, happens. I’d rather make the most of every day than worry every single day about when I’m going to die.
After about a year of treatment and the chemo not slowing it down anymore, they gave me few options, most of which would end with me walking with a cane or club foot for the rest of my life, or I could amputate and just deal with this once and for all. They gave me 4 days to make my decision and I called him back the very next day and told him to book the surgery. So that was an interesting experience but when I woke up for the surgery, there was absolutely NO PAIN!! I was on 2 different dosages of morphine to control the pain and was still unbearable so waking up without that pain made my decision 100000% worth it. Within a month I was fitted with my first prosthesis and got back on my horse Poco for the first time since this whole thing started.
It’s affected my life in every single way but all for the better. The people I’ve met because of it, the experiences I’ve had because of it, the Outlook on life it’s given me… It’s all positive. It’s hard not to think about that stuff more than the bad stuff.
I was already stage 4 when I was diagnosed so what I have is treatable, but not curable. Luckily there has been no complications at all with the remainder of my leg, but it’s metastasized in my lungs. On top of having my right leg amputated just above the knee, I’ve had 4 tumours removed from my left lung and 2 from my right. I’m lucky though, they grow in little balls on the outside of my lung so they make a small incision between the ribs and just rub them off and remove them. But I have some pretty badass scars now 🙂
At first, I was very self conscious and really worried about what other people thought but Dev was constantly making me feel amazing about myself and helping me slowly get more and more comfortable with my body, my hair (which I hated short at first hahaha) over time I started wearing my little costumes to raves again and realizing that ITS JUST A LEG. The old one didn’t work, anyways! My prosthetic is a part of who I am. The way my butt is shaped, my weird little walk when I’m being lazy, it’s all just me now.
I decided to do the shoot as an engagement present to Dev because he loves how confident I’ve become with it. When I told him I had to have my leg amputated, he literally said “so? It’s not your ass. That’s all that matters”!!!!!!!!!! So it was easy for me to want to do something to pay him back for helping me find my sassyness again.
At first I was very shy during the shoot but you are so nice and easy to talk to that it didn’t take long to get comfortable and really enjoy myself! I came out of it feeling amazing about myself.
Words can’t accurately describe how I felt when I saw the final product! The pictures are amazing and perfect and it was an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment for me, finally having accepted myself enough to embrace my imperfections and turn them into MY perfections.
It makes me so sad to see people let their so called “imperfections and insecurities” keep them from doing things that they know within themselves that they are capable of doing. Fear of rejection keeps so many people from having experiences and building relationships. My hope is that people can take something out of what I went through and come out of it as happy as I have. It’s not about your situation, it’s about how you handle your situation that really matters.
Whether or not if you have gone through an experience like Kim, or just need that reassurance that, “Fuck yeah, I am beautiful no matter what life situations we go through” I would love to hear from you. Being A Calgary boudoir photographer isn’t just about the glam, it’s about the truth, the healing and what’s on the inside as much as what is on the outside.