Today I pay tribute to two incredible artists who are the best at their craft.
But let me start from the beginning. As you know, my hair started falling out last week as a result of the chemotherapy. I hung on to it for as long as I could until it was impossible as bald patches started appearing randomly all across my head. it was not pretty. So my beautiful friend and hair stylist, Afsan, came to the rescue and shaved my head, with Nagib looking on nervously.
The next day, my friend Tarquin Singh came home and applied a stunning henna crown on my head. Tarquin operates a company called Henna Planet. This is the third time I have worked with Tarquin, as I have lost hair from cancer treatment three times in the past 4 years. She designs crowns after consulting with the client, so it is a wonderful process of co-creativity. I told her to find a way to include the words, “when you choose hope” at the back of the crown. And she did!
Next, I connected with my friend Chris Hughes from A Nerd’s World to ask if he could take pictures of the henna crown experience to preserve the memory of the event. I met Chris four years ago as part of my journey through cancer when he offered a promotion to take complimentary pictures of individuals battling cancer. I took him up on it! Since then Chris and I have kept in touch and developed an abiding friendship. Chris assigned Kenneth Appiah from A Nerd’s World to take the pictures.
Here is a gallery of pictures that bring the Henna Crown design by Tarquin Singh and the creativity of photographer Ken Appiah together, in perfect harmony. It is yet another reminder for me that cancer, if you choose to, can bring interesting people into your life, and can allow for creative expressions and experiences that make difficult times very special.
And now, on to Chemotherapy #2.
P.S. When You Choose Hope is my YouTube Channel. Here you can find "Munira's Journey", a 55-minute film about my first battle with cancer. Also see this blog post: "Once You Choose Hope, Anything is Possible" to find out more about the origins of the phrase.
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