April 9, 2014 — -- The day that Jennifer Glass, 50, was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer she told her new husband she wanted to document what she looked like before she started treatment.
“I said ‘Honey I want you to take my picture every single day. I want you to chronicle what this does to me,’” said Glass.
For one year Glass’ husband, who she married only four months before her diagnosis, took her photo every night. Sometimes she is barefaced, in others she is wearing make-up. At one point she broke out in a rash across her face, a side-effect from a chemotherapy drug.
Glass lost her hair for much of the year from chemotherapy, but the last photos of the year show her looking healthier with her hair growing back.
At the end of Glass’ first year of treatment her brother-in-law put the photos together in a video posted on YouTube. The video has garnered over 100,000 views and people have started to email Glass thanking her for showing the toll the treatment can take.
“There were many times it was hard to look at [the photo]. Sometimes you can tell I’m having a rough day,” said Glass. “When I saw it call packaged up together, it was such familiar imagery, [I cried.]”
One day in particular that was hard for Glass to relive was the day she shaved her head.
“On that day, my hair was falling out in great handfuls,” said Glass. "I looked awful...I reached for the makeup bag and wore my red scarf and I wanted the first bald picture to look fierce."
After a year of treatment, Glass said her cancer is now “contained” although not in remission. She gets scans every three months to make sure the cancer is no longer growing.
Her illness hasn’t stopped her from being active. She has a column on the Parade website and writes for the Livestrong website about her experiences with the disease and has conducted talks about what it feels like to be a cancer patient.
“It wasn’t something I set out to have a role like this. I just wanted to survive…I had a big career and I’m not working,” said Glass, who used to work in public relations. “What do I do with my days so I’m not just a woman with cancer?”