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The Breast Cancer Chronicles

Documenting her treatment gave Jacki Donaldson, a mom of two young boys, surprising strength and comfort. Here, a glimpse into her brave journey.

By Jacki Donaldson

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Jacki Donaldson
Jacki Donaldson
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What Cancer Looks Like

It took nearly two weeks after my head was shaved for me to muster the courage to pose for this photo. Melissa Etheridge inspired me. She had just completed chemo for breast cancer and performed at the Grammys in February of 2005, baring her own bald head for the world to see. I thought she was beautiful and brave, so I followed her lead, displaying my most visible sign of cancer. My guys also lifted me up. My younger son, Danny, who wasn't yet 2 and didn't know anything was wrong, provided much-needed hugs and kisses. And one day Joey said: "Don't worry, Mommy. You're not going to die—it's only a haircut." He was right.

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