This article was originally published on January 20, 2015.
When Kerry Mansfield
was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 31, she was shocked. "I had exercised and eaten correctly," she shares, "and like many my age, I felt indestructible, never thinking the most basic of dwellings" — her body — "could be lost." Faced with the "knives and chemistry" of surgery and chemotherapy, Kerry was forced to recalibrate her idea of self and confront the inextricable relationship between her physical and metaphysical identities. "My body may not be me," she explains, "but without it, I am something else entirely."
To grapple with how her cancer treatment was changing both her body and spirit, Kerry, a photographer, turned her lens on herself. "No one was there when these pictures were made," she says, "just my dissolving ideas of self, and a camera." When she began her photo series, called "Aftermath," she had no idea how her treatment would end — but now, both the series and her treatment are complete. Click through for the stunning photos of Kerry's journey, as well as her powerful thoughts on creative process.