Toxic, Tattooed and Tougher Than Margaret Thatcher:
Chronicle of a Year with Cancer
When I was diagnosed with cancer in 1997, I devised an unusual way of managing
my disease, by photographing myself during various phases of treatment. Faced
with a choice of experiencing a terrible tragedy or a great adventure, I chose the
By seeing myself as a survivor, and presenting myself that way to others, I can
encourage people to see themselves as survivors. By taking myself out of an
unpleasant situation and making something more of it, I transformed the experience.
The photo essay provided a focus during treatment; it was entertaining and
distracting to think of chemo and radiation visits as photo opportunities. By sharing
the story I've been able to demystify the disease for many people. I hope this candid,
informative and humorous exhibit will be useful not just for people facing cancer, but
also for anyone who needs to find humor in an otherwise humorless experience.