Kulmbach woman has documented her life with breast cancer

Kulmbach woman has documented her life with breast cancer

Hair and eyelashes fall out, pain runs through the patient’s body. Chemotherapy has many side effects, but it is often the last straw that cancer patients hold on to.
When silke kreb was diagnosed with breast cancer in november 2011, it was the second time she had been diagnosed with the disease. "I wanted to remember how it was the first time, but I had no more memories", she explains. That is why she had the idea to write a diary. "You immediately forget bad things."

Photographs for memory
she then approached the photographer christine strohlein and asked her if she could also accompany her course of illness photographically. It is a complete change for the patients, says silke kreb: "and it is important for me that women who have the same diagnosis learn to deal with it in a certain way." With her documentary she also wants to show friends and relatives of breast cancer patients what happens and what feelings are released. "Then it is possible to react accordingly."

The pictures by christine strohlein and the diary entries by silke kreb together form a gripping documentation of the process that those affected go through.

Silke kreb on the diagnosis of breast cancer by our site

starting with the surgery
the first diary entry was written shortly before the operation, the first photo was taken shortly afterwards. The joint project lasted more than a year, and its main aim was to raise awareness: "this is a topic that is not talked about very much", says silke kreb from kulmbach. "But whoever sees the pictures will be stimulated to think and I am sure that one or the other woman will then begin to regularly scan her breast for lumps."

Her documentation of fears, pain, but also joy has been on display since yesterday in the district administration office. "The 40 most expressive pictures and also text panels are shown there", explains the photographer christine strohlein.

At the opening of the exhibition and the simultaneous presentation of the illustrated book "life has no plan," the photographer in the district administration office, district administrator klaus peter sollner admired the courage of silke kreb and emphasized the special nature of the exhibition: "these are touching texts that make you think." He was also pleased about the opportunity to make the project accessible to a broad public.

The exhibition will now be open until 13. December will be on display in the foyer of the landratsamt. Silke kreb hopes for a good response "if associations or groups get in touch, i’ll be happy to go with them to the exhibition and answer questions."

christine strohlein is a trained educator and hobby photographer. She accompanied silke kreb photographically on her way from her diagnosis of breast cancer to her recovery. Both women got to know each other at FAC mainleus/kulmbach.

What was the most difficult situation for you as a photographer during the documentation of the disease??
Christine strohlein: the first shooting was already the one where I just slowly felt my way towards it. It was the day after the surgery. She removed the bandage and showed the scar. There were already slight beruhrungsangste there.

How did the technical implementation work out??
Because we had agreed so well, I could just do it. I partially climbed around on the window sill in the hospital… To have.Of course, it didn’t always work out. She wasn’t always alone in the room, and people who didn’t want to were not supposed to be in the picture. With the doctors we had cleared that up. That worked out well.

Also, when they have noticed, she is getting worse? Isn’t it difficult, especially when you have a personal relationship??
I have always said to myself: it is her wish. I don’t get hung up on. She wanted us to document it, so i was able to handle it well.

Where do we go from here with the project??
In any case, the exhibition will travel. We already have contacts with various breast cancer centers, photo clubs and other district offices. There are already some contacts abroad as well. There is even someone who wants to translate the book into russian. So there is a lot of planning. And the more people you address with it, the better it is.

The questions were asked by jennifer hauser

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