My twin sis
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Thursday, September 28, 2017
By Francine D Photography
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Today’s entry is about my twin sister, Felicia Gonzalez. If you know us, you know our story…our mother not knowing she was having twins until the labor doctor told her to keep pushing…We are fraternal twins born less than 10 minutes apart. We’ve always had each other’s backs, but we had our fair share of sibling rivalry. We shared a room for 16 years of our lives, but lost the physical connection when we moved to separate families at age 17 when our mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. As our lives got busy we lost our strong connection of sisterhood.
At the beginning of this year (2017) she was diagnosed with Stage II Breast Cancer, triple negative, and BRCA1 positive. The same exact diagnosis I received almost 13 years ago.
When I received the news I had no doubt I would be a huge part of her journey. I was fearful of what she may go through, and what I would be triggered by from my own experience. I was fearful of how I would react seeing her bald. I was fearful of losing her! I had to leave all of my personal issues aside in order to provide space for healing. Although she lives in Oakland, and I in San Diego, I found a way to physically be available for her while on her journey. I have been a huge part of her journey, and although the circumstances, we have reignited our sisterhood. It’s unfortunate it takes something as extreme as cancer to bring us close together again, but we made the best of it. We definitely shared some health challenges on her journey through chemotherapy, blood transfusions, and endless doctor appointments, in the end our bond became stronger!
Tuesday September 7, 17 Felicia got the best news along this journey. She was informed of her recent surgery to remove her breasts, that she had a complete pathological response. There was no evidence detected in the two lymph nodes removed, and no cancer found in the breast tissue. Today, she is “CANCER FREE”.
Today, I sit and reflect (as I have done a lot lately) on what I have learned in this challenging experience. I learned to keep my fears of uncertainty aside, and just go with the flow of the process. I was able to stay strong and hold space for my sister and the women that supported her. I was able to hold space for my family as they grieved for a loss of a loved one diagnosed with breast cancer in their family. Most importantly, I was able to take care of myself when I needed it. I am grateful for my yoga practice, meditation, sound healing, crystal healing, healing from others that helped get me through this time, and most importantly, my teachers. Although the circumstances this year were challenging…the outcome leads to a healthy future for Felicia and I.
The set of images were taken while Felicia was going through chemotherapy. She styled and did her makeup, and I just took the photos. A magical experience!


Leave a comment:
Francine Duffy - Your sweet comments brought me to tears! Thank you for supporting and inspiring me! And most importantly, being YOU!
Constanza Blondet - Driven to tears with this beautifully written and heartfelt comment, Francine.

I love you. I am grateful for you. I am inspired by you.

I love that you had to let go of your fear and trust the process. A lesson for all of life.

Thank you for your words and photos, for your presence and laughter. Thank you for your openness and sincerity.

Thank you for bringing out the light, love, joy, beauty, magic and power through your photos during Felicia's journey. Thank you for your art.

You are an amazing person, sister, friend.

I am so happy and grateful for your self-care and self-love and that you took time to nourish youreself in the process.

Thank you for being a teacher through your photos and words in this blogpost.

Powerful and beautiful. Like you.