by Diane Leopard (UK)
I am 55 years of age and live in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England. I am a clinical complementary therapist working with cancer patients and people with long term illnesses. I am also a breast cancer survivor. I started photography as I was presented with a national Prize for Excellence in Practice by the Federation of Holistic Therapists and I wanted to buy a keepsake with the prize money. This collection not only represents my emotions but also emotions and feelings that have been shared by other cancer patients and my family.
I deliver the talk and exhibition to health care professionals, cancer patients, work colleagues and the general public because I want people to understand the devastating emotional impact a cancer diagnosis has on lives. If more people can understand our emotions I am convinced that cancer patients will have a better quality recovery. Cancer changes lives but that’s not always a bad thing. I now see the beauty that surrounds us all yet many of us take for granted.
All the photos are my own work, not edited and not staged it is very important to me that they are completely natural. I am a novice photographer and this project is not about quality but about the stories.”
Here are two links that explain the project in more detail.
Images Through the Emotional Impact of Cancer
Diagnosis – This picture of a crumbling castle represents how I felt when the consultant told me that I had breast cancer. In the foreground of this picture you can see people going about life as normal whilst my life came tumbling down
Denial – This photograph is a statue in the beautiful Trentham Gardens called the 50p man. This reminds me how I felt in the first few months when I wanted to hide away and pretend that breast cancer wasn’t happening. In the background you can see people going about everyday life and I longed to be one of those ‘normal’ people.
Tears – Taken in our garden with the early morning dew after the frost had left the nasturtiums limp and lifeless. This represents the tears that I cried. Tears of sadness, confusion, uncertainty and pain.