October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month but, for me, it also marks the two-year anniversary of my breast cancer surgery. I went on to have more surgery and chemotherapy. I was also told that my chance of becoming stage four within the next ten years was one in four. I remember walking out of the cancer center that day and really not even being able to wrap my mind around those odds. Suddenly, it came to me, we all have a zero or one hundred percent chance of being here tomorrow. So, that is how I choose to live now. I call it the, “zero or one hundred life.”
Shortly before cancer, I had just opened my Instagram account, @kathryn_dyer, and I was taking photos here and there and posting them. I enjoyed trying to capture things I liked but I had no idea that my life was about to be flipped upside down. As I went through various cancer treatments I turned to the images on Instagram as a source of inspiration. You see, on most days, I was too ill to really get outside much but I explored the world through the photos of others. During this time I realized how important it is to be inspired and share true inspiration and hope. Some days those beautiful photos I saw on Instagram were what got me through.
As I finally recovered from chemotherapy and my last surgery, I was physically exhausted but I started trying to get out and explore more. The first day, the snow was deep and I was only able to take about five steps from the car. My lungs were burning and my legs were rubbery but I took photos because I was so grateful to be outside again. I am thankful to be able to see all of the beauty this world has to offer and I am so inspired every time I see nature’s splendor.
I am two years cancer free this month. Cancer gave me a new way to look at things and a new appreciation. I know what it feels like to not be able to experience life’s beauty firsthand.
When I take photos now, I think of my struggle and I try to take photos for people who may be going through their own struggle.
I try to inspire and to do for others what so many did for me through photography.
I always knew how powerful images were, but I never imagined that they would help me heal and move forward.
About Kathryn Dyer
Kathryn Dyer is a nature lover who shares that love through photographs. She is always on the hunt for an inspiring place or a new perspective to capture. Her philosophy is that we should enjoy every sunset and look forward to the next sunrise.
A lifelong Californian who grew up on the beaches of Southern California, Kathryn spent summers camping and exploring as a child. She began to document her love of the outdoors two years ago through her Instagram: @kathryn_dyer
Shortly after opening her Instagram account, Kathryn was diagnosed with cancer. Her passion for nature helped her to get back up and get out there during treatment. Upon reflection, she feels her journey with cancer is a reminder to enjoy every moment and love this life! She does just that by exploring California with her husband and finding the next picture!