Brittany Long and Michael Brzozowksi
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The Story
Brittany Long
Rockford, IL
Triple Negative Breast Cancer Survivor
Twist on Cancer: Getting a cancer diagnosis in your 30s is never on anyone's five-year plan. Especially someone who has a one year old. Yet, I found myself in that exact situation. I was told it was a problem from breastfeeding and not to worry but was still sent out for further testing.

What was to be a simple ultrasound turned into a very thorough image of both breasts and a mammogram. Apparently, it was time to start worrying! I received 16 rounds of chemotherapy and had a double mastectomy with reconstruction. I had a complete response to chemo and thankfully didn't need radiation.

I was lucky to meet my mentor very early on in my diagnosis. Having someone who knew what I was going through and could answer my questions truthfully was something I'll forever be grateful for. I knew that I needed to pass on what I had learned to others, so with the help of my mentor and another woman who was diagnosed just weeks after me, we started a local online and in-person support group. This group allows me to give back in a way that was so incredibly helpful to myself in the same situation. My twist on cancer was to find the positive amongst all that bad and create a safe space for other women.
Michael Brzozowksi
Detroit, MI
Social Media: @mbrzozow
Acrylic on Canvas
Artist Statement: Gratitude and compassion have been an important part of being involved with the Twist Out Cancer program. It's been an honor participating in the Brushes with Cancer Art Exhibition in Detroit. This community has been supportive in reflecting on my relationship with cancer, and how the creative arts helped me in the aftermath of my mother’s passing. It's been 10 years since cancer took my mother, and art helped me grieve.

Art has been transformative and therapeutic in coping with my grief. This program presented new perspectives on how cancer affects our psyche and is a source of inspiration. Twist Out Cancer provided a community that helped inspire me to paint. My connection with Brittany opened the dialogue of how our lived experience with cancer transformed us. The finished painting carries ideas of trusting the process through uncertain times. The painting emphasizes cosmic light radiating into the dark, turbulent space. Milky waves surround the seed of hope that incorporates a maternal rhythm that is reborn into the celestial sky.