January 20, 2012 Meera – January

If you have been following my blog, you will know that I will be photographing Meera and her family each month as a personal assignment… documenting their journey through cancer.

A lot of people have asked me “why?” I am doing this assignment. It is something I have wanted to do for years – so many of us are touched by cancer. Too many of us. But not all of us know what a day in the life of someone actually going through it looks like. What the reality of the big “C” word in your life can mean.

When I met Meera and her mom, Laura I just knew they were a fit. Laura is so open to talk about their journey and Meera is just so stinking cute! And as I met with them this week, I was reassured this was the right choice – I love this family already.

The night before I Was to photograph Meera in her home, I got a text from Laura. Meera had been admitted to the hospital – after her chemo that day her blood platelets were quite low and she needed to stay in the hospital. SHe asked if I wanted to reschedule. No way! This is life for them. One thing I really appreciate about Laura, is she explains everything to me and is so informative. And she is so positive through it all. I heard her say a few times “this is our life now.” Just a fact.

I wanted to quickly share a bit of their story as it is so unbelievable to me. I may have a couple dates wrong – going from memory – so Laura, please correct me.

August 21 – Laura is 8 months pregnant with her second child and turns 26!
August 24 – Meera is diagnosed with cancer
September 17 – Roy and Laura’s second daughter Ameena (meaning “faith”) is born (3 weeks after Meera’s diagnosis!)

Laura calmly told me how she asked to be induced, as she was needing to go around Meera’s chemo schedule as well. She had her baby, then stayed in the hospital a couple days until it was Meera’s chemo day in the same hospital so that she could be there with her.

I am a mom of two daughters almost the same age. Remembering to brush my teeth was a challenge in the early days. I am absolutely in awe of Roy and Laura’s strength and great attitude. Love their little “Meera-cle”.

Without further ado – here’s a glimpse into January with Meera.

When I got there, Meera was at an ex-ray so I caught Laura having some cuddle time with Ameena. They were in a private room, but that still meant that overnight the sleeping arrangements were less than ideal – Meera got the bed, Laura got the pull out chair and Ameena got the stroller.

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Grandma was there too – and they’re doing such a great job making sure Ameena gets attention too!

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Meera came back from her ex-rays and didn’t want to get out of her stroller. She sat and watched Dora with her Princess dolls!

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A nurse came in to check her blood platelets. It was so sad – and I debated posting these.. but this is reality. I loved watching Laura comfort her though.

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I should mention – Laura buzzed her hair off when Meera started to lose hers. What an awesome act of love.

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Meera doesn’t always eat – so she has a “button” she had surgically put in where she can be given medication or tube fed. This particular day they could not get her to eat or drink – so it may mean she gets “fed” later by tube.

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Daddy trying to get Meera to eat…

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And all the while, happy go lucky Ameena is chilling out.

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Those legs!! Love her.

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Laura giving Meera some of her medication – Meera thought it was water in there and squirted it in her mouth… she wasn’t too happy to find meds! Love how she pretended to give her princess dolls meds too!

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The main thing I saw though was love, love and more love.

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Beautiful, beautiful Meera.

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Celebrating life and love,

Krista

17 Responses to “Meera – January”

  1. Christa says:

    This just breaks my heart. My kids are 5 months and 2 years (the same age as Meera & Ameena) and I can’t imagine what they’re going through. I love how you’re documenting this Krista. I especially love how through it all you’ve captured so much love and smiles :) Well done!

  2. Christine says:

    Krista , you are a truly magical lady with so much passion . What a gift of documentation thru beautiful imagery for this incredibly strong family . I pray that this little one has a full recovery and can one day look back on these images and see the strength and love that surrounds her .
    We are so very fortunate to have you as a part of the Smiling Eyes team !
    Xo

  3. Juliana says:

    A truly touching story and I pray that she has a full recovery and lives a happy healthy life.
    May God Bless her, her parents and her sister. Sure brought tears to my eyes. She will be in our prayers.

  4. Cynthia or in Meera's words - Eeya says:

    Krista,
    First off WOW… you have captured so much in these photos. A true testament to the journey that my dear friend and her family are on. Laura and Roy are AMAZING parents, always putting their girls first and making sure Meera and Ameena have everything they need before attending to their own needs. If there is one thing I can say to sum up Meera since beginning her fight with the big ‘C’ it’s that her spirit still remains strongly intact… she is a fighter! When she is feeling good she is smiling, dancing, singing, and laughing, and even when she’s not feeling well she is chatting up a storm (she is such a smart articulate 2yr old). Meera is surrounded by an immense amount of love and support of people all over the world, I am in awe every time Laura tells me the various countries people are messaging their love and support from. The highlight of my week is when I visit “my girls” (Meera and Ameena). Thank you Krista for taking on such an awesome project and thank you to everyone else supporting Meera on her journey! Love you so much Porter Fam! Looking forward to February’s pictures!

  5. Cherie says:

    Hey Krista,
    This is amazing that you are able to use your talents in this way. What is also kind of unique is that are jobs are colliding in this way. You will really be able to understand the work I do now. I don’t talk about it too much as it can be sad and it is something that really can’t be explained with words. But pictures definitely are worth a thousand words. I think it is so special that you can help this family tell their stores with these precious photos. It is not an easy life, a life that sometimes is very lonely for these families… many times I hear “My family and friends just don’t understand what we are going through.” Now hopefully they will be able to understand a little more and be even a better support system for this family as well as others they meet along life’s path. Amazing Krista. All the best to you Meera and family. You are strong, brave, courageous and real. You will have these photos to enjoy for a lifetime and will help others with your honesty for allowing your “life as it is right now” to be photographed. We will be praying for a full recovery for Meera and for much support for you along the way in this year ahead.

  6. Jodi says:

    This breaks my heart. I pray that Meera will be healed and completely healthy!

  7. amber says:

    These pictures are amazing. I have known Laura since elementary school, and 2 months after Merra.was diagnosed, my mom.was also diagnosed with cancer. Laura has answered so many of my questions, and Merra is such a beautiful girl just like her mom. I think about them everyday!!!

  8. Lisa says:

    Think what you are doing is absolutely amazing! Love it. They are such a wonderful family. Pictures are beautiful.

  9. Carol says:

    Beautiful post Krista! Thanks for sharing! I’ll be praying for Meera and her family.

  10. Carol Woon says:

    Beautiful post Krista. I’ll be praying for this family! Thanks for sharing!

  11. Mom says:

    Love the post Krista and the love that is so evident in this sweet little family. Praying for a definite Miracle for little Meera! So thankful for my healthy kids and grandkids. Love Mom

  12. Monica says:

    What a beautiful family. So strong.
    Krista this reminds me of my family (and twin sister) growing up. That glowing bride you photographed in August (Martha and Jared)- she had leukemia at age 6 and was very sick. My parents were so loving and strong and we all got through it. Her hair grew back thicker and more beautiful than ever. She is one of the strongest and most kind people I know. At her wedding the themes were love, faith, hope- my wishes for Meera and her family.

    My prayers are with them! xoxo

  13. Suzin says:

    Wow… this is tough to see…. I cannot imagine you being there living it with them… and I mostly cannot imagine them living it…tears streaming down, feeling so grateful for healthy children, messy house and sibling fights seem so little, and praying and praying for Meera.

  14. Darlene Tassone says:

    God Bless Meera and her family for the everyday struggles they have… thanking every moment they have with her. What a strong little girl she is and my heart bleeds for them all … Thank you to Sharron who keeps us all updated on her welfare and care. I’ve fallen in love with a little girl that I’ve never met. Stay strong … because that’s what friends and family are for. Lean on eachother … it’s what you’re there for. God Bless … xo

  15. Leslie says:

    Oh my such a sad face. I felt so much better to see her smile at the end. This is the first I’ve read of her; how old is Meera? What kind of cancer is it and what is her prognosis?

  16. Christine Taylor says:

    It was a tough blog post to look at, but it reminds me to be thankful for my three healthy children. My everyday frustrations don’t look so bad anymore when I see these pictures.

  17. nataschia says:

    love. beautiful love. although a tough blogpost to look at… but they’re so blessed to have you document this for them. all too often we photograph the celebrations-this is real authentic life-love your approach. i hope that we get to witness a few celebrations in this year long journey with sweet Meera!

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