Breast cancer survivors stun in lingerie shoot
Ten years after being diagnosed with an incurable form of breast cancer, 50 year-old Maggie Prentice is featured alongside fellow cancer survivors in a powerful photo shoot to raise awareness for those affected by the disease.
The 50-year-old New Zealand-based mother of two, who proudly models lingerie in the untouched campaign, opened up about the emotional journey of her diagnosis.
“’I jumped in the shower and it must have been the way that the light was shining through the window and into the mirror – I could see my breasts were quite misshapen and I hadn’t noticed that before,’ Prentice told the Daily Mail.
Maggie, photographed in Auckland, NZ by @harrywere as part of a very special @lonelygirlsproject series thanks to @sweetlouisenz – supporting those with incurable breast cancer “It's coming up 10 years since I was diagnosed [with secondary breast cancer], and I think about it every day. The day my husband and I were told at best I had a 10% chance of survival was an absolute nightmare. I was and am not ready to give up on that 10%. My family means the world to me and I have not yet seen enough of what my two fantastic children will achieve in their lives to stop watching". Lonely encourages breast awareness this October. In NZ you may text GIVE to 2447 to donate $3 to Sweet Louise. Every purchase of Lonely Lingerie this month will come with a breast awareness card. And we are selling limited edition t-shirts with 100% of funds raised donated. Link in bio
A post shared by Lonely Lingerie (@lonelylingerie) on Sep 30, 2017 at 11:15pm PDT
That same day, Prentice met with her doctor for what would be a decade-long struggle to come to terms with living with breast cancer.
“It took a long time to process but at the time when you’re diagnosed you just get on the roller coaster and you keep going – you’ve got appointments to go to and treatments that need to be done,” she said.
After a biopsy and mastectomy, Prentice learned the cancer had spread to her lymphatic system after she found three small bumps on her neck. Within two months of her initial diagnosis, doctors told her the cancer was incurable.
Thank you to the beautiful women living with secondary breast cancer who let me photograph you (Marian, Maggie, Joanne) for the @lonelygirlsproject ❤️ and to @lonelylingerie @nzhviva @nzbcf @sweetlouisenz ❤️ Check your breasts it's important. Lonely x Ophelia @opheliaafm tshirts are available from @lonelylabel with all proceeds going to @nzbcf
A post shared by Harriet Were (@harrywere) on Sep 27, 2017 at 3:06pm PDT
“’It was heartbreaking, it was devastating,” she said “When I had the surgery and they had taken 13 lymph nodes from under my arm I think I was quite naive and I didn’t understand the consequences of that.”
Doctors feared that the cancer would continue to spread throughout her body – so they began an aggressive treatment plan. Prentice recalls, “’They did chemotherapy, then radiation and herceptin. I did anything I could, anything they would give me I’d take, anything to have a better outcome.”
A week after Prentice’s initial diagnosis, her husband was also diagnosed with cancer. The couple had surgery in the same hospital a day apart. “’It was a really crazy time for the whole family but now he’s perfect, he’s great and he was discharged from oncology and doing any further treatments two weeks ago. “
Although it has taken time, Prentice says a positive attitude has helped her overcome and accept her diagnosis.
“I had a scare last year but that reinforced the idea that you’ve got to live each day as it is and not to be reckless with your health,” she said. “I have a lot to live for and my children are young adults, there is a lot to see and for them to achieve.”
Prentice now goes for annual mammograms to monitor her health.
“’Unless you see issues pop up or things change, don’t worry about it, live life and get on with it.”
Part of living life for Prentice was participating alongside two other breast cancer survivors in the Lonely Lingerie shoot by Sweet Louise, a New Zealand organisation that aims to support those diagnosed with incurable cancer. Prentice says the shoot helped push her out of her comfort zone.
“It was something I felt uncomfortable about as I was heavier than ever and having had a mastectomy and everything but it was something that I just wanted to do for me,” she explained.
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