cancer // the other side

Hello readers of Shea’s blog. While Shea is all strung out on Benadryl, I am sneaking in to do a little guest post. Just a little back story for those like three of you who don’t know who I am…


Shea and I met at a photography workshop on January 10, 2010. I found my notes.. not secretly celebrating our friendaversary every year or anything.. How has it only been six years. Feels like 16.
There was no ‘getting to know you’ phase or anything. We were just friends now. I think I was actually invited to her birthday party a week later.. something to do with wearing high heels automatically counted me out.. That next month we put a little shoot together and we’ve been doing that ever since.
Almost every time we were together, there was another connection made with another friend and our circle grew.
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We have been there together for our babies, weddings, building our dream houses, for the most fun times and for some pretty heavy stuff.

// Wednesday, January 26 //

(You) “Hey, what are you up to, buddy?”
And I’m already rattling off what I’ve been doing this morning when the CANCER BOMB DROPS and your voice doesn’t change and I’m not sure if I’m even breathing listening to all the big words you’re using to tell me you will be bald. I hear that part.

And you know.. you just say .. @$#*!
Ok, well that’s what I say…

She gets that out and of course I ask her why she’s not crying because that’s freaking me out. Duh, she’s been crying all morning and is most likely dehydrated from tear production overload.
So, ok, I’ll be praying for you, love you, bye.

// Thursday, Febrauary 11 //
Today is your third day of chemo. I came yesterday. I realize you have cancer and not Alzheimer’s, but this is for later when you look back and reflect on those first days when you were being super brave and had hair.

Anyway, I finally made it to the correct hospital… (Did you know there are many St. Thomas hospitals? You are going to want to pay attention to Josh when he is explaining to you the exact directions, not the ones you just half way listen to and decide to park in physician parking anyway because it’s closer).

Josh leads me back to the Infusion Center and I sort of avert my eyes to anyone there except the people in blue scrubs. You are all cozied up in your Lazy Boy recliner with a blanket warmed in an actual oven…

Ugh.. you just look amazing with your cute new do from Lindsey, and your cozy chemo clothes and no-doubt Warby Parker frames and I am immediately angry. I am devastated, and scared to be up here with you and am thinking I shouldn’t have come because what if I can’t do this for you. I don’t want to see your port or know what is dripping into your IV. I don’t want to look at Josh or ask another question about appointments or surgery or nausea meds..

These little selfish, inner monologue tantrums sort of come and go, by the way.

Mostly, I am searching for the next ridiculously random Internet item. The somber, serious, hand holding stuff is not my scene.


You are going through some real serious stuff. It is seriously serious. That’s too much seriousness for anyone. So I’m going to let the serious be out there.. kind of hanging out with your IV and your nausea meds, and I’m going to be over here, talking about that time Whitney Lutz had a roach in her jegging and I’m pretty sure you maybe peed a little.

I’m on the other side of your cancer trying not to call you too much, clog up your text messages with truly hilarious memes and random videos that I have spent hours culling through when I should be working or maybe doing laundry.

You have a huge support system out there, and like me, many folks trying to figure out how to make this even a tiny bit easier for you. Some of these people have gotten in touch and these are not really patient people. Loving, praying: yes. But we have some folks out here getting impatient about helping. Even I feel like I’m one more drive-by away from a restraining order. So in an effort to focus less on spamming you with gif.s (which is my new favorite thing), I am going forward with this idea:

(that’s not the real name or anything, someone more clever will come up with that).

We are organizing a HUGE photo event across middle Tennessee this April!
Mini sessions from photographers in Nashville, Franklin, Clarksville and more.

All proceeds will go to the Wright family (I am suggesting they ditch the bills and go to somewhere sunny where I can continue documenting their journey).

More on this soon!!!

Love you, Shea. Thank you for letting me have your chocolate pudding while you had your chemo.

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