Nicole O'Neil Photography
First, I know I have not blogged in forever! My last blog was about my experience at the marathon, sharing photos I had taken of the memorial in the month following it. And, that was more than 5 months ago! I promise to get better again about sharing all of the great sessions I've been doing! It has honestly been a difficult 6 months, but I have jumped right back in to taking lots of photos of wonderful people, so stay tuned!! But, now to a post very important to me.
I first met Victoria through a close friend of mine, Jen. We saw each other a few times at parties Jen had and then I had the fortune to take family photos for her last year. I liked her from the moment I met her. She was just like Jen and I, a good balance of sarcastic and nice, just happy and laid back. I hadn't seen her for a while, but in May, we both attended Jen's son's birthday party. I was not in a good place with it only being a few weeks after the marathon and didn't do much socializing, but we spoke a little and talked about doing photos again. About a month later, Jen sent me a text that her and Victoria were going out for drinks and food if I wanted to join. She also told me at that time that Victoria had just been diagnosed with cancer and the three of us, all having had some major life changing things going on, needed a fun night out. I agreed and we planned to meet up. Victoria ended up not being able to make it due to a party she had forgotten about, which was a bummer. I had looked forward to seeing her.
The summer went on and I would see some updates from Victoria or ask Jen how she was, but I was sort of in a fog and didn't keep up with it or reach out like I wanted to. I was stuck in my own little world trying to deal with things and not my usual self. So, once I came out of it, I wanted to do something for her. I had lost so much financially post marathon, so I could not donate to her doing the breast cancer walk, so I offered what I could, a family photo session. I figured if I could give nothing else, I could give her some great memories of her with her family. She was really happy and I honestly hadn't been sure she'd be up for it at the time. Well, she was and we did the session a little over a week ago. I hope if nothing else the images you'll see below will give her happy and beautiful moments to look at while she faces what's ahead. And, let me say, she is determined, happy, and amazing as she goes through it all.
Before I get to the pics, here is her story.
Everyone has those events that will stick with them, no matter what else happens. Where you where when 9/11 occured or the day you became engaged. Life changing events is what I call them. Well, June 3, 2013 at 4:00 pm was one of those events for me. That was the day I was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. Let me back up for just a second and give you a little background. I am a 37 year old, married mother of two. I lead a "normal" life. I exercise by running around after my boys. I have a great job outside of the home. I have a fantastic, sometimes frustrating, husband. A wonderful circle of friends and family. Normal, right? What I didn't have were any signs or symptoms that something was wrong. As I say, I went for my yearly ob/gyn appointment and came back with cancer. For whatever reason my doctor decided on that day that she wanted a baseline mammogram done because of dense tissue. What came back was a life changing and life saving choice.
Victoria, I hope these images provide you with happy moments and giant smiles. Your outlook, spirit, and determination are amazing and beautiful. Positivity is half the battle. Keep pushing forward and living life as it should be lived. You inspire me. Thank you for the privilege of letting me capture these wonderful memories.