When she could no longer ignore the problem, she had it checked, only to find out she had stage 3 Breast Cancer.
Her message to all is, knowledge is power. "One thing I learned in my journey is that all people need to listen to their bodies and ensure they see their doctor when they feel something isn't right - we are in control of our own health".
This amazing mom of two has been through eight rounds of chemo, and recently had a mastectomy, but she is determined not to go down with out a fight!
Here is a peak at the shoot we did with this amazing young lady ... Lindiwe Mdlalase
the femme fatale girls
Chantal Drummond, one of our sexy femme fatale ladies has been involved with Buddies for Life magazine, a quarterly publication, written by and for cancer patients and survivors, for quite some time now. It is a cause that is close to her heart and something that she loves being involves in.
Buddies for Life is part of the Breast Health Foundation and they use the magazine to create awareness and give support to those who need it most.
The summer 2014 edition was published in October, in time for Breast Cancer Awareness month. The theme for this edition was bright, colourful and had to illustrate diversity and unity. When the team at Word for Word Media contacted us about this cover shoot, we were delighted to hear that we had two beautiful and very inspirational women to photograph, Cindy Matthee and Zoleka Mandela.
Cindy Matthee - Femininity does not depend on breasts ....
Cindy, like many women, used to believe that having breasts made her feminine, but after being diagnosed with breast cancer at the beginning of 2014, her outlook totally changed. She is currently writing a book on the relationship women have with their breasts, and is encouraging ladies to send her a photograph depicting this relationship.
The message that Cindy has for all cancer patients is "Cancer is not a death sentence. While you fight it you live. You cant wait to live later". And this inspirational lady is doing just that, from going 4x4ing over the Sani Pass to partying at Oppikoppi with her husband Dawid, Cindy is now living her life to the fullest.
Zoleka Mandela - A social icon, mother and breast cancer survivor
Granddaughter of two South African icons, Nelson Mandela and Winnie Madikizela Mandela, Zoleka believes her social responsiblity to create awareness is inspired by her grandparents and their passion to bring about change. Having lost two children, her daughter Zenani, in a car accident on the eve of the 2010 World Cup, and her son, Zenawe who was born three months prematurely, Zoleka was devastated by the news that she had stage 2 breast cancer in 2012.
Always wanting a large family, she refused treatment for three months, and describes that she felt that loosing her breasts made her feel like she was loosing her connection to her children. Zoleka now has two beautiful children, and has written a book called "When hope whispers". She hopes it will encourage people to change themselves, and empower women who are diagnosed with breast cancer.
It was emotional and empowering to meet two amazing and inspirational women. Often we are overwhelmed by the small things in our lives. But, when you see the positivity and determination these ladies have, who are fighting this disease. It makes you realise that there are people out there with more serious problems than yours and also it helps puts your problems into perspective.
The ladies of femme fatale boudoir would like to thank all who were involved in this amazing photoshoot :
The White Room in Randpark Ridge for the gorgeous location.
L'il Delights for the super delicious cupcakes, that the ladies really enjoyed.
Monique, our in-house Make-up Artist, for the beautiful make-up and who did a fabulous job, as always.
The inspirational team at Word for Word Media, who gave us artist freedom to create something beautiful and magical.
Cindy and Zoleka, it was so awesome to work with you both - your energy and positivity is infectious and it was an amazing experience for us!
The femme fatale ladies
As October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, it's probably only fitting that we discuss breast self-examination. Having said that, we should really be aware of our breasts and taking care of them all year round.
Our team has been working with Bosom Buddies, a South African based cancer support group run by survivors, for 2 years now, as well as with Buddies for Life, the magazine publication specifically for breast cancer patients, survivors and the supporters around them.
Breast Cancer affects more women than we are probably aware of, and it doesn't discriminate, so any woman of any age, race or creed can be affected. Below are a few facts about Breast Cancer in South Africa:
Early detection saves lives, so here is a few things to do and to watch out for:
Stand in front of a mirror, firstly with your hands on your hips and secondly with raised arms and look at your breasts checking for the following:
The next test is also done in two stages and maybe be easiest when the skin is wet. So while you are in the bath or shower.
It is recommended that you check your breasts at least once a month, and generally when you are menstruating. Your gynaecologist should also do a breast exam during your yearly check-up and if you are concerned please chat to them about doing a mammogram. Should you notice any abnormality that were described above, or feel any lump of any kind, please see your Doctor as soon as possible and get this checked.
The femme fatale ladies
Femme Fatale is an all-female team of specialists, dedicated to unleashing the sexy and sensual side of ladies. With two outstandingly talented photographers and three brilliant Make-up Artists and Hairstylists. You just know you are in the best hands!