Archive for Oct 2010

Meet Cher O.

October 15, 2010

Cher O 300x225 Meet Cher O.

I was 18 years old and found a lump in my neck, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Disease. I had Cobalt Radiation to my Neck, Chest and Abdomen, 5 days a week for 25 weeks. Every year I would get a CT scan to make sure that I didn’t have any new signs of cancer. At the age of 23 I was Diagnosed again with Hodgkin’s Disease, however this time I was recovering from a severe Pilonidal Cyst, I was admitted to Sloan Kettering in NY, where they performed a rare procedure called Rotation Flap. I was in the process of moving to Arizona, and the Oncologist at Sloan referred me to an Oncologist in Phoenix.

Upon arriving to Arizona, I immediately applied for state insurance so I could start Chemotherapy. I was on Chemo for 6 months when they diagnosed me in remission. Everything was fine in February of 2007 at the age of 37, I went to my Primary Care Physician for my yearly Well Woman exam. He was examining my breasts and he found a lump. I knew immediately and my heart sunk. I was referred to a Breast Cancer Surgeon who performed a Lumpectomy and called me a few days later stating that I did in fact have Breast Cancer.

I was told that I didn’t need a Mastectomy and that I should be fine with just Radiation, I went to a Radiation Oncologist, where I was informed that I was not a candidate for Radiation since I had already had it 20 years prior and that I did need a Bi-Lateral Mastectomy. I was absolutely devastated. Within weeks I had the surgery, which I believe is the worst part of the entire process. I unfortunately got Necrosis and that delayed the start of Chemo, I had to go to the surgeon once a week for dressing changes and the dead skin to be cut away. Everyday I had to flush the wound and pack it with wet to dry gauze.

I started Chemo about 6 weeks after the Necrosis finally healed, I had 4 sessions across a 12 week time span. I again for the second time lost my hair, I was very weak from Chemo, I was suffering from anxiety attacks daily, sometimes a few a day. My attitude was horrible, I hate the way I looked and felt.

The time came to start reconstruction, I was so excited to finally move on and start getting my life back, I was forced to move in with my parents because I ran through all my savings. The same week I was diagnosed, I lost my job and went on state insurance again. My plastic surgeon was not approved with Ahcccs, and he fought long and hard with Ahcccs for them to approve him to treat me since he was my DR prior to me loosing my job and insurance. Ahcccs made me go to three different plastic surgeons who all didn’t want anything to do with me because I had Radiation therapy in 1989. In fact, one was so rude he told me that I will have to look like this for the rest of my life. I had a severe anxiety attack in his office and left bawling my eyes out. I cannot believe how incredibly rude this man was. I called the plastic surgeon what I was told and he reassured me that I would get this surgery and would get my reconstruction.

After about 6 months of fighting with Ahcccs, I was finally approved with Dr. John Rowley, the wonderful man who fought so hard for me. We immediately scheduled surgery for expanders! I again had a problem with the same breast that had the Necrosis, I got a staph infection and lost the expander, another devastating moment. A few months later I was healed enough to have the second expander put in. Of course another staph infection! I was admitted to the hospital and had the area flushed out and was on heavy duty antibiotics for 5 days and another surgery to flush the area. This time the expander was saved! After a few weeks I started getting the expanders filled and surgery was scheduled for the implants and reconstruction.

It is now about 2 and a half years later and I went back to school to become a Medical Assistant, I graduated with Honors and Perfect Attendance. Finally, I am starting to get my life back!

Thank you for taking the time to ready my story

Please post a comment, email me at or call the studio at 602-393-9333 to cast your vote starting November 1st!

Celebrate Survivors’ Photography Session Contest

In Honor of Breast Cancer Awareness


October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. As part of our quest to support women’s issues, Images by Kay & Co. Photography is excited to announce our complimentary, first Annual Breast Cancer Survivors’ CelebrateSexy Photo Session Contest.

Having any kind of cancer is frightening and confusing; but breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed among U.S. Women.

Research shows us that the impact of breast cancer can be minimized with accurate information. As an all female team we are committed to supporting this cause and proud to be providing Arizona women a place to be photographed in a way that builds confidence about their bodies once again. The pampering that occurs during a CelebrateSexy photo session helps ease feelings of vulnerability. After surviving such a serious health challenge, women sometimes feel betrayed by their bodies. The beautiful photographs from the session help to bridge that gap, building peace and self-assurance.

Images by Kay & Co. Photography will hold a contest during the last two weeks of October for cancer survivors. If you or any woman you know has been affected by cancer, please consider entering our contest to win a FREE CelebrateSexy Diva Photography Package. Entering the contest is easy, simply send us your survival story along with one or two photos of you and we will post the entries on our blog. Then you, the readers, will choose the contest winner based on the person receiving the most number of votes. The winner will receive a Designer Diva Package and will be treated to professional hair styling and makeup application during her CelebrateSexy session. The images in her album will be a wonderful reminder and celebration of her beauty.

Anyone with a cancer survival story is a true winner – all finalists will receive a gift certificate toward a CelebrateSexy photography session. In addition, Images by Kay & Co. will contribute a portion of each CelebrateSexy session in October towards breast cancer research. Please join us in our support of breast cancer research by donating to this important cause.

To enter the contest:

This contest is for any woman who has survived or is fighting cancer in any form.

Please email your story to with the subject line: SURVIVOR CONTEST. Send a picture of yourself and any other photos you would like to share.

Your first name and images will be posted on our CelebrateSexy and Images by Kay & Co. Blog for our readers to view and vote on.

Feel free to nominate a deserving friend – just please ask their permission first and send us their contact information so that we can get their confirmation.

We will be accepting entries until October 31, 2010.

Viewers can cast their votes through November 13th and the winner will be announced on November 14th.

Good luck and we look forward to hearing your amazing stories!