Photos of Chantal Molleman who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009. The photos were taken by her sister, artist Linda Molleman.
Chantal Molleman writes:
Vulnerable, destroyed body and mind, I feel like shit all the time.
What does IT want from me ? Why me ?
I’m not myself anymore, IT doesn’t belong to me, I don’t want it anymore !
Diagnosed with breast cancer, MAY 2009.
One large huge breast is a purple foreign object. It doesn’t fit with the rest of my whole person, just hanging there like a big prune with an eye on it, a dead eye with no soul, staring at the rest of my private parts, bald and useless, no hair anywhere !
I’m submitted to twelve chemo’s and thirty three radiations, ‘Gamma rays’ entering my deep soul and burn the flesh away of my once nice breast, a rose blossom, what a shame...
My entire being changing aggressively, I’m very much in pain, very angry at IT and I can’t stop it.
FOR NINE MONTHS I SIT IN A BALLOON ALONE, NO ESCAPE POSSIBLE.
The world outside not existing because it is not my world anymore. I’m powerless... so horrible aching inside and out, and yet I’m searching for the meaning of all this.
Dead sick smoking my lovely cigarette which I cherish deeply, my one and only escape, my only moment for a while, making me happy and ‘ normal’ for a few minutes. My cigarette... How stupid can I be?
Look, the mirror tells me how beautiful I am, still am, bald, yet I can’t see it.
Do I have to surrender, accept and suffer?
Fading concentration, loss of control, I cry it out. Help me ! The mess inside kills me slowly.
There is no hope in my head, my Picasso coloured breast burning continuously like a monster... I want to die !
There is my lovely cigarette, my only companion, killing me too.
With a little needle I try to prick my balloon, find a small hole, how tiny it may be and run away from my captured body. Yet, I do not find the way out to escape from this filthy shell.
No concentration. Perhaps another cigarette? Yes ! What the heck, I am dying anyway.
This fat monster with beautiful blue eyes, crying for attention, credibility and pity, and yet I don’t want it. Screaming for hope and understanding,any encouragement to survive.
Many questions in that bald head of mine crawling around in my brains for so long already. My cigarette ... not real, not logical. I take another nicotine escape.
I’m so tired, burned out and please let me see my grandchild one day. My beloved son who I adore and means the world to me; Please...
Another chemo, number 12 and I say NO ! Enough now, I can’t and will not have it. No more poison.
My body and mind refuse it, and I believe in myself, no struggle for live anymore. Final countdown.
Little things, a flower, the sun, nature and above all my music, my operas.They are all there for me, just for me.
Regaining power inside by meditation, little things come back to me. Small things that make my life worth living for, appreciation of futilities, I see it all in a different way now.
I’m becoming a master at putting life into perspective.
Don’t take IT so hard on yourself !
My balloon ruptures, I fly away from my cocoon. It’s a renaissance.
I slowly accept the person. I become a beautiful person for myself and other people.
I see again. Eyes were wide shut !
I rejected IT, the ugly Duck, and if IT strikes again, so it will be.
But I’m still here ... with my cigarette.
Chantal Molleman, TEXT, October 2010.
Linda Molleman, PHOTOS, March 2010.