A woman looks through a box of old photos

Picture Task

Living with cancer takes on so many responsibilities that sometimes get lost in the wind. Recently, I was intrigued with a program that gave light to how many in this new digital world we live no longer print photographs, and we rely on the cloud to store our treasured memories. I got to thinking how bizarre things have gotten in the last five or more years when it comes to documenting those very special moments, even more for cancer patients.

All in a diary

Though many have documented their walk with blood cancer or any cancer by writing their experiences down, there’s also a huge group of folks that do better taking a picture of the process of cancer. I recall taking snapshots of things not everyone would find interesting but a reminder of showing my discomfort or feelings at that moment.

I remember a treatment appointment and the room was not properly cleaned, and I assume there was a rough time with the prior patient, as there was blood spilled everywhere from the IV, yet I was being summoned to start my treatment in that exact room (side face). I didn’t take a photo then, but my voice and feet rose steadfast to complain “what is this about over here?" I don’t think that warranted a photo, but because time is so fleeting, I do recall taking a picture of how I looked when I got my stem cell harvested during apheresis. When I took the photo, I wasn’t quite sure why I did so, but think it had something to do with just being another way of documenting the task of survival, though sometimes not pleasant it’s always a reminder we need to capture.

Who takes over when we're gone?

Well, part of that program mentioned interesting thoughts for those who live their journeys through social media, and that is who has control over our social media handles if we die? Who has control or access to our phone accounts, as many use our phones to take snaps of those good and bad memories? I was blown away that they suggested a Digital Executor may be the way to go, that is if you do mind that you’re most precious memories are taken and used in a way that is not what it should be used for when you’re gone.

In regards to social media companies like Facebook and Instagram, they do have a legacy profile selection that would allow a family member or person chosen to act in your favor as a legacy contact. This in fact is a feature that is easy to be applied if you have these types of accounts or concerns.


So besides the complexity of all that was mentioned, just the idea of using these photos to make you feel better and in a lighter mood, or as a reminder of what you used to look like before getting cancer, can also show how you came through it, and here’s how you’re doing today.

If anything, leaving this chain of photo memory as a keepsake can’t be too awful. Though it may get tedious gathering and organizing, I can’t think of anything more special than journaling your past, present, and future.

The time to fight is now, with integrity, grace, hope, and a smile….when you feel like it

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