Powerful Boudoir Session Helps Annie Take Ownership of Double Mastectomy

We are so thankful to Annie for entrusting us with her story. Annie came to us for a solo boudoir session two weeks before her scheduled double mastectomy, an operation she bravely decided to undergo in order to treat her breast cancer. 

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“In roughly two weeks my life is going to change dramatically. I wanted something to remember that I had real breasts at one time. I wanted something that would celebrate my body. If something goes sideways, I wanted to be remembered as crazy, adventurous, strong, feminine, and beautiful,” she confided in us. 

Annie has always been very open about her life and her challenges, adding that “if anyone asks I will gladly share my story.”

Over the years she’s led an incredibly fulfilling life as a labor and delivery nurse, fitness enthusiast, mom, wife and crazy cat lady.

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“I have an amazing husband who has been my rock through all of this and a brilliant son who is in his second year at RIT. Up until Covid I was teaching group fitness classes and yoga at the local YMCA along with being a full time nurse. I have four furry disasters that most people would call cats, but we still aren’t sure, one of which is trying to set the record for oldest cat, he is 22 years old. Many lifetimes ago I was a designer for the largest manufacturer of maternity clothing at that time. It was really weird to be on this side of the camera for a photo shoot. After having my son I became a Gymboree instructor and then fell into my job as a yoga instructor. I went back to school and became a nurse later in life looking for something more stable,” she said.

In spite of having been diagnosed with cancer, Annie refuses to let it get in the way of living life on her terms. 

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“While I thought I lived in the present before my diagnosis, cancer has really given me the gift to live in the present and understand what that means and not give an eff about what others think,” she says. 

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“I am just trying to be present right now and enjoy my friends and family. I am trying to find the bright side of a bad situation. I like to say ‘woe is me’ has never fixed anybody.”

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Annie brought with her many of the same items to wear as our other clients (lingerie, heels, jewelry, jeans, her husband’s dress shirt, bras, panties and a tank top) but she also brought one other important prop; a cast of her breasts. 

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Breast casts, which are typically made from plaster or paper mache, serve as a symbol to many women of their strength, resilience, and beauty, no matter the shape or size, and that held just as true for Annie. She says her absolute favorite picture from her session is one of herself with her cast on the floor. 

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“To me it symbolizes that I have taken ownership of my diagnosis. Thank you. Thank you for being a part of my journey. Thank you for the gift of loving my body at a horrible time in life. Thank you for the warm welcome and being willing to listen.”

We couldn’t agree more, Annie, and we wish you a healthy recovery. 

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If you’re ready to entrust us with your story, call us at Allebach Photography for your free boudoir consultation at 610.539.6920 or visit http://allebachphotography.com/contact/

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