The Breast Cancer Journeys We Don’t Often Hear About
Beyond the narratives of heroism, bravery, and resilience, we don’t often hear much complexity or nuance in discussions of breast cancer. But we absolutely should. The thing is, breast cancer reflects the very vision of Amour Caché in that everyone’s journey holds overlapping similarities as well as distinct differences. This Breast Cancer Awareness Month (and beyond), we want to recognize and celebrate those nuances and universalities.
Everyone’s journey consists of parallels that bring us together, while maintaining an idiosyncrasy that makes us all so beautifully unique. Breast cancer is no different. Stories may be tragic. They may be spiritual. They may be hopeful. But every breast cancer story embodies beauty in its individuality.
Such is Yvonne Parker’s breast cancer story, Rose Salomon’s breast cancer story, and Kim Merch’s breast cancer story. In fact, speaking to Kim for the first installment of our Survival Series was an immediate awakening to the nuance of breast cancer narratives. She described her experience as “positive, overall”; words I would never think to associate with breast cancer or breast cancer survival. And that is exactly the point.
We attribute the redeeming qualities of popularized images—in the case of breast cancer, these include pink ribbons, communal walks, and celebratory fundraisers—to an entire breadth of experiences. While these images hold great significance, they are not the whole story. The first of many conversations was already enough to open my eyes to the complexity of every breast cancer survivor’s story. It was an absolute privilege to capture these complexities through this series.
While Amour Caché hopes to grow into a community that encompasses all women-identifying people with all of their stories and experiences in tow, we’d be remiss to neglect this vital moment of awareness and remembrance. Breast cancer survivors were whom our co-founders had in mind when conceptualizing Amour Caché’s pocketed bras. The purpose of their “hidden love” was to make this community—whose self-perceptions of beauty are often left out of the narratives we consume—feel seen.
The Survivor Series is Amour Caché’s homage to survivors and the idiosyncrasy of their journeys. The beauty, the pain, the lessons, and the consequences. The indications and implications of every woman’s identity, and how it impacted her journey, are all a part of the narrative we should be exposed to and reflecting on this month, and every month after. While October was the perfect time to begin highlighting these journeys, we hope to continue celebrating all survivors in all their walks of life, regardless of what month of the year it is. Because these stories are always worth telling. Survivors, thank you for allowing L’AMOURZINE to be the place you bare your soul. Beyond the pink bows and cancer walks, we see you. We hear you. And we thank you for your bravery and openness.