Thursday, February 07, 2013

Woman With Terminal Cancer Gets Paris Photo Shoot



I dare you to watch the 15 minute video and not be moved. I even had to use some tissue. Probably was bacon grease though. Jill Brzezinski-Conley is 35. At 31 she was diagnosed with breast cancer. It is now at stage 4. In August she traveled to Paris for a photo shoot and wore couture gowns. She did not wear a prosthetic despite having a double mastectomy. She wanted people to see what a woman looks like who does not wear one because she feels it is not portrayed correctly in the media.

29 comments:

Christopher Cruz said...

She's as gorgeous as she is brave.

LottaColada said...

She's is absolutely beautiful and I'm glad she got the opportunity to do something that made her this happy.

Amber said...

Wow. She's stunning. She somehow - and this doesn't seem like it makes sense - looks like a cross between Vanessa Williams and Marisa Tomei. I'm so happy she got to experience that. (And no I am not watching the video. I cannot cry my face off at work.)

JSierra said...

She looks beautiful. What a wonderful thing for her family and friends to have after she leaves them, portraits capturing her beauty and spirit and her happiness with life despite facing death.

Tuxedo Cat said...

Enty, you do have a big heart. What a beauty, and it was really nice of the people to make this dream come true for her so she could leave this statement.

ReesesPeace said...

I can't watch this; the pics alone are making me cry. Gorgeous and courageous chickie. Peace, light and love to you, Jill!

Cancer fucking sucks!! I found out last week that an old friend is battling breast cancer.

surfer said...

I read her story and saw the video a few days ago. She is so brave.

After her mastectomy, she had implants put in; the tissue around one of them became infected, so it was removed.

What a story - she was newly married when she was diagnosed. What a legacy she will leave.

MadLyb said...

THIS is why I love the human race. What a wonderful thing to do, especially for the millions of women who are battling or have survived breast cancer.

mikey said...

Someone please explain Stage 4 terminal to me. A friend of mine has completed treatment for stage 4 breast cancer and she has been given a really good prognosis. She goes for regular checkups but there is no indication she's going to die soon. Am I deluding myself that she's basically ok?

Maximus said...

May her journey be bright and peaceful.

StewMcG said...

mikey, in Jill's case, it spread to her bones and that's pretty much incurable. Your friend who was stage 4 is very lucky.

SusanB said...

Back in the late 1970s (I was an x-ray tech) Monday afternoon was the big breast cancer clinic afternoon. Back then mastectomy was pretty much the choice for any woman with breast cancer. We would get around 100 women in the afternoon for chest x-rays looking for metastasis. So many of those poor women asked to change in the x-ray room rather than a change room so they didn't have to sit in the waiting room without their prostheses. Of course we understood and did this - it was absolutely heartbreaking to see these poor women - one told me this was only the 2nd time she had seen her chest after the surgery - she always dressed and undressed in the dark, and kept her eyes shut when she showered or didn't look down. So many of them wept with embarrassment because we had to help them undress because of stiffness. We would cry right along with them. Other than when I worked in pediatrics, THESE were the patients we tried the hardest to hug and console. I've forgotten a lot of patients I've worked with, but I've never forgotten these women, and thank God that reconstructive surgery is available now.

MISCH said...

Beautiful woman...

Jennifer said...

I can't even start the video--- crying already. She is beautiful!

urban chaos said...

Stunningly beautiful and so inspirational- between the images and comments I am a weepy mess and haven't even watched the video.

I've had my own scare with breast cancer and being that young(er) mom sitting in the room with all the senior ladies talking about what a death sentence it was for a woman in her 30's and looking at me with pity.

Geeze, I hate cancer!

mikey said...

Thanks for the explanation StewMcG - it makes more sense now.

Kimberly said...

And Lilo will live to be 98 leaving a path of heartbreak, disease, addiction and destruction behind her, and never spend a night in jail because of her actions.

stephani said...

mikey, I think it really depends. My husband's aunt was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer almost two years ago, and she is doing well, considering. The cancer had spread to her spine and she regularly experiences back pain because of it. Incidentally, the back pain is how they first discovered she had cancer. Anyway, after an initial round of surgery, plus chemo, she is back to work full time, and generally leads a normal life. She tires easily, and I'm not all together sure what her long term prognosis is. She's kept that private, and I think many who meet her wouldn't guess she has cancer.

Sherry said...

SusanB: Your stroy left me in tears.

My friend Michelle died of breast cancer that had metastisized into her bones. Just as young as Jill here. We've come a long way from one breast being a shamefiul thing thank goodness. Some women wear it like a badge of honor.

My heart goes out to Mikey and everyone here who no doubt has a story to tell about someone they know with cancer.

smash said...

Thank you for sharing this story. I saw it a few days ago and without reading the headline I thought "she is one of the most naturally stunning beautiful women I have ever seen". When I heard she has cancer I was so happy for her to be able to have these pictures and feel beautiful for the day! Stay strong you beautiful lady!!!

EMB3712 said...

SusanB, bless you and those like you who bring such care and love to people in such difficult situations. I hope you know how much you're appreciated!

Lelaina Pierce said...

This is heartbreaking. Just after she found love. :( She's gorgeous, as was the photo shoot.

Lisa said...

She is so very beautiful. May these pictures and her story reach many people and help others as well as give those who love her peace.

My own family has a strong history of breast cancer and mammograms have been a regular fact for me since I was in my early 20's. My mother had breast cancer but luckily was able to go on and not have to deal with it again. Sadly we lost my grandmother to it several years ago.

Vkn said...

Good for her! We need strong people like this in the media and news. What a way to make a double mastectomy look absolutely brilliant!

KPeony said...

So beautiful and so sad.

Mango said...

What a lovely woman. I hope she beats the odds.

peachykeen said...

Sue Bryce is an amazing photographer (I'm a photographer myself and have workshopped with her online)

Also,having had chemo myself and fought cancer (I was only 26,a mother of 2 diagnosed 3 weeks after my wedding and my baby daughter was only 12 weeks old) I am so so glad that this story is getting so widely circulated.

Cancer does not discriminate.It doesn't care how old you are,that you've just gotten married or had a baby or how good of a person you are.It's a ruthless disease that tries to rob you of your dignity.

But it doesn't succeed.The people fighting it are better than that.

I am so lucky to have beaten it.Even my Dr's don't know how I'm still here after having some many complications,but I am.I even had a baby son after being told I would never carry another child.At 28 years old I am a mother of 3 who's body is scarred by cancer.But you know what? They're my fucking battle scars and they're beautiful.

They show me every single day how hard I fought to stay alive so my children would know me (my eldest was only 20 months when I started chemo) and so I could grow old with my husband.They remind me every single day WHY I fought so hard and how lucky I am.I wouldn't trade the scars for anything.Not many people get a daily kick in the ass from the universe to remind them why they're here,and sometimes it's so easy to forget.

I am LUCKY.

Jill,is amazing.She will save lives with her words and pictures.

Make sure you're getting full physicals people.Don't put it off like I did.

It almost cost me everything.

Lisa said...

@peachykeen bless you and may you continue to have many years of cancer free life.

Administrator said...

I just bawled my eyes out watching this video. My sister survived cancer.