The following is Sherry's emotional speech from the opening night:
"My name is Sherry Bishop…I am currently living with stage 4 breast cancer. (thriving actually!) A little over four years ago, I was given a
2 year life expectancy…that was with chemo and radiation. Unfortunately, due to side effects, I had to finish up my medical treatments
in January of 2010….and I say “medical” treatments because I feel I am still getting treatments through my food, exercise, mediation,
spirituality, gratefulness, visualization, laughter, love, nature, and the avoidance of toxins in my food, personal care products, household
products and yes…the avoidance of toxic people with negative energy!
I feel the combined effects of my medical treatments and the lifestyle changes I’ve embraced are the reason for the continued great
health I have. I have scans three to four months and today I remain stable with no progression of disease!
So, naturally…I’m drawn to anything that heightens awareness about this ugly disease….I really wanted to become involved in Malin’s
and Sondria’s project because it’s a true reflection of reality of breast cancer. It doesn’t come wrapped in soft pink feathers…it’s hard,
raw and very scary. Also…I feel I have to share my story with others…I want to show others the path I took to great health…so that they
too can reduce their risk of metastasizing and increase their chance of surviving….and this project would give me an opportunity to
share this with so many others.
However…this project has become so much more than creating awareness and sharing information. For me…this has become another
healing. You see, I continue to heal every day and I take my healing from all different places…medical, food, walks, yoga, sharing a laugh
with my husband, hearing precious little voices call me “nanny”, a smile from a stranger, a chat with a good friend…I could go on and on.
So…I’ve been looking at my scars every day for over 6 years…they have become part of me…the same as my fingers and toes…no difference
. I check across my scar lines every day (as I did my breasts) to be sure there are no new lumps. I am comfortable with my scars.
I’ve seen the scars of many others’ as well. I’m involved with a very close support group and we share and bare our physical and
emotional scars with each other. We feel so safe together.
Scars were nothing new to me…until I saw them through the eyes of Malin. I was so shocked to have had such a physical reaction to
my first glimpse of our scars (our stories) all captured together through Malin’s lens. My heart started to thump in my chest…the blood
rushed to my cheeks and I felt a surge of emotions running around my body.
To see our scars in such a well-defined raw display….each one very different….but speaking the same language….the language of cancer. I could feel our combined sorrow, our pain, our suffering, our loss, our fear (when I say “our” I mean each other…and our family and friends…our scars touch many)…but…I could also see our courage, our resilience, our beautiful strong spirits. Malin’s eye captured both the vulnerability and the strength of our bodies and souls.
I really started to see how remarkable our scars are….they speak of a disease that was underneath, they speak of the sharp blade in the hands of a skilled compassionate surgeon, they speak of angry blood spurting…wanting to be contained, they speak of our body’s desire and ability to heal..to grow back together, to keep out infection, to let everything within grow to a new normal. Our scars are the very beginning of our stories, the very beginning of our healing…they seal everything in, so we can regenerate, grow strong, grow healthy and our stories can continue.
I love my scar…I touch it every day with a grateful heart. I love you Malin, for opening my eyes to yet another source of healing. I love all of you for sharing this night with us and also sharing in our healing."
© 2013 MALIN ENSTROM
VOICES FROM THE SHOW