Cancer survivor Eileen’s stunning ‘Beauty and Boudoir’ photoshoot

Cancer survivor Eileen’s stunning ‘Beauty and Boudoir’ photoshoot

“There is a lot emphasis on the minute on the ‘Love Island’ physique. You must look a sure manner. That’s not the way in which it ought to be, particularly not after having breast most cancers therapy.” 
This was the sassily defiant perspective of Eileen McCay, breast most cancers survivor, who just lately undertook a ‘Beauty and Boudoir’ photoshoot with photographer, Leisa Smith-Anderson, right here within the metropolis. 
When Leisa first steered the photoshoot to Eileen, she was not eager and she had simply had a mastectomy and had placed on weight since her therapy, which had begun in 2018.

Eileen’s ‘Beauty and Boudoir’ photoshoot with Leisa Smith-Anderson.
Speaking to Derry Now, Eileen mentioned: “Before I had therapy, I used to be a health fanatic. Back then I’d have carried out the traditional photoshoots displaying the six-pack and every part else. However, when Leisa was making an attempt to get me to do  ‘Beauty and Boudoir’,
I mentioned, ‘No probability. I’m not assured sufficient’. Mentally and bodily I simply wasn’t for doing it.
“But, throughout the previous couple of months, one in every of my very shut buddies was re-diagnosed [with cancer] and I’ve simply heard about so many different youthful folks being identified with breast most cancers, that  I modified my thoughts.
“It is a frightening time. People must get mastectomies and you go right into a darkish place. 

Eileen’s ‘Beauty and Boudoir’ photoshoot with Leisa Smith-Anderson.
“And then Leisa messaged me in the future and mentioned, ‘When are you coming in?’ and I simply thought, ‘I’m doing it’. I didn’t inform anyone. Nobody knew solely me, Leisa and one in every of my shut buddies,” mentioned Eileen.
Eileen went to Leisa’s studio, in Trench Road. She mentioned she was very nervous despite the fact that the pair had been buddies for years.
“Taking off my garments, particularly after having a mastectomy was scary,” mentioned Eileen, “however Leisa is simply so good. She made me really feel a lot comfortable. She had all of the props. She is simply wonderful at her commerce. 

Eileen’s ‘Beauty and Boudoir’ photoshoot with Leisa Smith-Anderson.
“Once I settled into it, I believed, ‘Let’s do it. Let’s go’. I used to be very cautious of displaying my scars as a result of there’s a lot emphasis on the minute on the ‘Love Island’ physique and these thongs. You must look a sure manner. That will not be the way in which it ought to be, particularly not after having breast most cancers therapy. It is difficult sufficient.
“Your physique has modified a lot. Mentally and bodily, you may have scars. You have a unique manner of dressing. Before I’d have had the boob tubes and the wee low minimize tops, now, with the mastectomy, you’re so paranoid of individuals seeing your scars. You are very acutely aware of it. You are very acutely aware of what you put on. 
“And then I believed, ‘Naw. I’m going to be pleased with my scars’. I’m right here. I’m so glad to be alive and it’s simply displaying folks, particularly youthful women, there’s life after a breast most cancers prognosis. It is so daunting having a mastectomy however you possibly can nonetheless be lovely. You can nonetheless be pleased with your physique. I’m pleased with my scars. I’m so proud now of the particular person I’m,” mentioned Eileen.
Eileen mentioned she was spurred on by her hospital overview appointment.

Eileen’s ‘Beauty and Boudoir’ photoshoot with Leisa Smith-Anderson.
“The physician couldn’t perceive why I didn’t need a reconstruction.
“I don’t need to put my physique by way of one other main operation so I mentioned, ‘No. I’m pleased with how I’m. I’m a survivor’. If that signifies that I’ve to make use of a prosthesis, I’ll use a prosthesis. I’m not ashamed of it.
“What I actually need to put out there’s that even in case you have had a breast most cancers prognosis and a mastectomy, by no means be afraid to indicate the particular person you’re and that you’re a survivor and that you’re nonetheless lovely.”
Eileen was 48 when she obtained her prognosis. Initially she had gone to her GP with a rash on her nipple.

Eileen’s ‘Beauty and Boudoir’ photoshoot with Leisa Smith-Anderson.
She recalled: “That was about October. The GP mentioned it was eczema however by December it was not going away. It was truly getting worse and it was beginning to ooze. I went again to her simply after Christmas and I used to be referred to the breast clinic, on January 5, 2018. I went myself as a result of I didn’t suppose something of it as a result of I had no lumps. 
“People don’t perceive that it isn’t at all times a lump. There are so many different various things.  
“I had a mammogram and then one other mammogram and then biopsies and by 12 o’clock that day I phoned my sister and mentioned, ‘Get over right here as a result of I’m not getting excellent news’. I knew. It turned out  I had a tumour in my nipple however I additionally had a tumour in my chest wall. There was no lump. 
“Even the physician was saying, he didn’t really feel it. That is one other factor, folks want to pay attention to their our bodies. And one factor I’d stress is, even in case you are advised by somebody within the medical career it isn’t most cancers, when you don’t really feel proper, get it checked or ask for a second opinion. 
“You know your personal physique and the earlier you catch it the higher. I used to be fortunate it hadn’t unfold with me. I’m so fortunate the place a number of the different folks I do know haven’t been so fortunate,” mentioned Eileen.
Eileen subsequently had a mastectomy adopted by six classes of chemotherapy and a yr of hormone therapy. She is now beneath self directed care. 
“Lots of people suppose that as a result of you may have completed lively therapy, you’re excellent, you’re cured, you’re nice,” mentioned Eileen.
“It will not be. To me, post-treatment is the darkest place, psychologically and bodily. 
“Your physique has modified a lot. You usually are not the identical particular person. I’ve  lymphedema in my arm. I’ve had some lymph nodes eliminated, so my arm swells up, so I usually put on a sleeve, and do workout routines. I’ve to put on it more often than not, in all probability not as usually as I ought to. Lots of the time it’s as a result of individuals are taking a look at you and going, ‘What is that?’ I additionally had a thyroid drawback which was reversed, which implies I’ve now placed on weight. I used to be very a lot into my health and I can’t do as a lot now as I used to, which is one other factor. You are simply not the identical particular person after therapy however you possibly can’t have a look at the draw back of it. You have to take a look at the positives. I’m nonetheless right here. Some individuals are not so fortunate. 
“If anybody does have a prognosis, there are such a lot of folks on the market who will help. The Pink Ladies have been an ideal assist to me. Michelle McLaren is simply wonderful and Jackie Loughery and additionally Cancer Focus and Macmillan. With the mastectomy there are particular bras you must put on, which within the outlets however they’re plain and boring. However, Cancer Focus and the Pink Ladies promote companies and they will get trendier bras,” smiled Eileen. 
Eileen is again coaching at Danny Glen’s U-Turn Bootcamp in Whitehouse within the metropolis.
“I’ve been there for eight years. They have been wonderful. Even throughout my therapy, Danny was sending me wee workout routines to do and even after therapy he has simply been so supportive. 
“I used to be so fortunate too to have all of my therapy on the North West Cancer Centre. They are wonderful. The nurses are simply good. You simply can’t say how wonderful they’re. Although, afterwards, as soon as you’re left by yourself in self-directed care, generally you do really feel a wee bit alone.

Eileen’s ‘Beauty and Boudoir’ photoshoot with Leisa Smith-Anderson.
“When you’re going by way of lively therapy, you may have fixed appointments and nurses checking on you, everyone seems to be checking on you, you may have fixed scans. Once you’re the place I’m now it’s like you’re by yourself, though you possibly can life the cellphone. That is the place the likes of the Pink Ladies are available in, the place you may have different folks like myself you possibly can speak to.”Because of the assist given to her by the Pink Ladies, if Eileen hears about one other particular person with a most cancers prognosis, she provides them one in every of her ‘Pay It Forward’ luggage’. 
She defined: “I put wee issues within the bag I realized since getting my prognosis. Things Michelle advised me. 
“Wear darkish nail polish because it protects your nails from chemo. Use paraben free hand cream to guard your arms and pores and skin and paraben free deodorants. Always have a packet of Opal Fruits useful as a result of the style which chemo leaves in your mouth is horrible. Nothing tastes proper throughout therapy,” mentioned Eileen.

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