I do this thing when I’m really emotional, I get extremely quiet and stare into space for hours. Tears get temporarily obstructed and my mind becomes still before a sense of clarify takes over. Then I promptly fall asleep. Last night, I was sent this video, that Beyoncé and my tour/Parkwood family made for me and I am so deeply touched by their love, that I am really struggling to find the words… so I’ll just tell you a story…
Just before I got the job as Beyoncé’s photographer, my life was a mess. For years I had been that quintessential hippie artist, determined to follow the direction of my heart, with little clue as to where it was taking me. I always thought I was meant to be a painter but then this annoying thing called photography came into my life and it just wouldn’t leave me alone, no matter how hard I tried to push it away. I grew to resent the endless hours I would voluntarily spend editing my photos in the middle of the night whilst my canvases lay dry in the corner, yet I couldn’t stop. Then one day earlier this year, when I could no longer afford to pay my rent, I decided I was done. Done fighting it. So I packed up my studio and my apartment and asked God to catch me as I surrendered to him and I gave myself until April 15th to leave New York. Meanwhile, Beyoncé was looking for a photographer for her upcoming world tour. I was asked to audition and I got the job of a lifetime. 5 days later, on April 12th we left for Europe. I was home.
Whilst on tour, my health was deteriorating but I was too busy to notice. Alarm came when I could no longer swallow and I stopped eating altogether, whilst working around the clock. Yvette, Beyoncé’s faithful publicist and my guardian angel, hadn’t seen me for a couple of weeks but when she saw me in Milan, she rushed to me, hugged me and said “I’m going to cry. You have to go to the doctor” and she arranged to send me home. Through that act of love alone, she saved my life. Then the diagnosis came and I had to accept that my time on tour was over.
Doctors said they couldn’t cure me, that they could only hope to maintain my cancer, yet 3 days ago, we found out that it has reduced by 30% in just 3 chemo cycles. Shocked and perplexed, my doctors hugged and high fived me, looking at me with confused smiles on their faces. I am the talk of the department. Of course they may put it down to my cocktail of daily drugs and yes, they certainly have a big part to play in my treatment but what I have always known in my heart is that love and acceptance has been my biggest healer. I have always had tremendous love in my life but since my diagnosis, it has reached such overwhelming heights, that even I am in disbelief. Team Slug Slayer is a movement, a collection of beautiful hearts who with no desire but to express their humanity, have lifted me beyond any illness or circumstance. Cancer is just a word, just a name given to something that needs love and I have always believed, that with the love that you, my slug slayer super crew have given me, I am healed. If I was meant to go through this, in order to show the world what the power of love can do, then I would do it again. And again.
I am so eternally grateful to all you who are healing me each and every day. We are powerful beyond our wildest imaginations.
To follow my journey, we have set up this blog, where I will document my story and share with you all everything that has helped me, with the hopes that it too may inspire you to turn to love for your healing, whatever your inner slug may be.
With infinite love and gratitude,
You can watch the video my tour fam made for me here www.beyonce.com/news/were-with-you-yosra
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