Day One is Today…

This is Elizabeth.

Last month Elizabeth found out that she has advanced breast cancer.

At 10:30am this morning Elizabeth received her first treatment of chemotherapy.

Today, she said, she felt sad.

But she says, this is not war, this is just something that happened and she will live through this.

Because with a six-year old daughter and a three-year old son…

…she has a whole lot to live for.

And just 3 hours after her first treatment ended, I met Elizabeth and her family in their favorite local spot, to document who they are today… because from today on, every day is a very important day.

Thank you, Elizabeth, for sharing your day with me. I am so grateful.

About the author paige green

Paige Green is a documentary and portrait photographer, whose storytelling approach to photography frequently addresses issues involving agriculture, land use, and food. Her work is featured in nine books and has been published in Glamour, National Geographic Traveler, New York Times Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, GQ, Country Living, House Beautiful, and Culture. Paige lives in Petaluma, CA with a house full of boys.

All posts by paige green →


  1. Elizabeth, a total stranger is crying for you and your family. I am sending positive thoughts your way, wherever you are. Be strong, be well, be healed.

    I have a friend who was just diagnosed too, and will start chemiotherapy soon.

    Your family is beautiful!


    1. Laura,
      Thank you, Thank you.
      I have been thinking about your friend ever since I read this( a month ago) and I just wanted to offer my experience to her , my ear whatever she may need in support. I am feelin very supported most of the time, and it’s an important part of the healing process. So please give her my e-mail if I can help with ?’s etc.


  2. Paige, as always your photography is incredible. I agree with the comment above. This brought tears to my eyes and I’ll be thinking of Elizabeth all day. I hope this is Day 1 of many more
    years with your family.


  3. My mom and I are looking at this together , while Grace is snuggled up with Tammy and there “pillow pets” sound asleep. These pictures are such a beautiful gift , for you and your family………….. With love and prayers..Tiffany


  4. Alyzsa VAn Til June 9, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    Thank you so much Paige for these touching photos of my niece and her family. Of course, I’m already in support mode, but the pictures are such a blessing. You are blessed and a blessing. Love, Auntie Lissa


  5. Wow, incredible photographs. The pictures, so revealing, capture life and grace where it seems it should be hidden. That is true art. Keep them coming!
    Thinking of you and Much Love,


  6. Elizabeth,
    You are so loved by so many.
    Stay Strong!
    Jim Deb Ash and Megan and Scott.


  7. Oh I am so happy you both found each other! All the best for Elizabeth and her sweet family. Thank you Paige for capturing them.


  8. There they are, some of my favorite people………….. Paige has captured Beth and her family to the T. My thoughts and prayers of Beth and her family consume my day.


  9. I
    Love you, Bethie and am praying for you and thinking of you often.Love, Aunt Faith


  10. Wow what a nice way to share, I’m honored.
    Be strong, I’m thinking of you, Wayne and the kids!


  11. Eichelman Family June 10, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    BEAUTIFUL photos of you, Wayne and the kids. We are thinking of you, praying for you and are here to support you anyway we can.
    WE LOVE YOU!!!!
    Paul, Laurie, Lindsey, Nicole, Hannah and Evan xoxoxo


  12. Connie Versluys June 10, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    Precious Beth, I’m thinking about you and praying for you daily. I love you. Aunt Connie


  13. Dear Beth and family,
    I was devastated to hear this news. God knows how much we can tolerate and this just means that Beth God knows you are a survivor! My children are the same ages of your children and I felt like my heart was literally breaking. In the same instance that fighter instinct that we have for our loved ones kicked in and says Mathew 21:22 ” If you believe you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer ”
    My children and I pray together at bedtime every night and we will be from now on including this bible verse just for You! ” Be Strong and Courageous. Do Not Be Afraid Or Terrified Because Of Them (I will be thinking “those fuckers”). For The Lord Your God Goes With You; He Will Never Leave You Nor Forsake You.” Deuteronomy 31:6
    Beth I love you and you are on my heart and in my prayers everyday! I am asking God to give you peace everyday to keep you calm so that your body can work at it’s fullest potential to get rid of all of it forever. I pray in the name of Jesus that you survive this battle and live to tell your amazing story!


  14. Jana Hollenbeck June 10, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    The pictures are so beautiful! What an amazing expression of your journey. My heartfelt prayers and healing energy are with all of you during this time of treatment and healing. I’m a friend of your Aunt Alyzsa.


  15. More than a photographer, you are a documentarian. You stitch just the right amount of photos with just the right amount of words to form a beautifully compelling story.

    I am going to bed thinking good thoughts for this family


  16. What a darling and brave family! You do a good job of capturing their joy and her apprehension. It is an important project.


  17. Just when I was hoping for an update, one came. Thanks! I miss you Beth and I know with your fighting spirit you will get through this scarey time.

    Love Jan


  18. Elizabeth,
    Praying for you and yours.


  19. This is such a great prayer reminder. I don’t know Beth, but am a breast cancer survivor and feel privileged to share her journey this way.


  20. Doreen Wybranowski June 15, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    Jeremiah 29:11

    “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

    This first blog is beautiful. It’s so good to “see” and your family again. Can’t wait to see you later this summer! Stay strong and take it all one day at a time.

    Loads of love and prayers for you and your family,


  21. What a beautiful, strong woman, how generous of you to share of yourself and of your family in this way.

    I am praying for you. May our God who is faithful, answer your prayers according to His will. I pray for comfort, for calm and continued grace. I pray for your family to have strength during this curve in your lives.

    Blessings and love.


  22. You are safely in God’s care-Always in all ways. –from friend of Alyzsa


  23. Susie Wright Kuhrt June 19, 2011 at 3:24 am

    FIGHT Elizabeth FIGHT!!! Praying for ya girl!


  24. beautiful.
    you capture worlds, paige, we’re all the luckier for you.
    elizabeth, i’m glad you let paige into your family, for our sake,
    and now, go live with gusto.


  25. Doreen Wybranowski June 28, 2011 at 11:50 am

    Hi Beth,
    Wishing you the best for round two of chemo set for tomorrow.


  26. Doreen Wybranowski July 20, 2011 at 8:49 am

    Round 3 starts today. 1/2 way there! Stay strong!


  27. I am a three time cancer survivor, the las being breast and by far the worst. I live in a town where I have no family, just my kids and my son began his freshman year of college a month after I was diagnosed. He did not want to leave me but I insisted. His Dad would have wanted that. You see, I loat my husband and my kids lost there Dad when my son was 11 and my daughter was 6….I became a widow a age 29, that sounds so weird. He was an engineer for a global company and was on a business trip in New Orleans. He was 34 years old when they signed his death certificate as natural. I quickly learned that New Orleans does not ammend a death certificate, especially when there is a corrupt police and government and EMS. That happened in 1996. I was diagnosed for the third time in 2003 and my 13 year old daughter took care of me. she grew up very fast. I was hospitalized for a very low white count. I had know one to help with my daughter, so my husbands youngest sister came from out of state to help. I was so sick i came very close to dying. The worst thing to me was my son came home from college to help with care and his sister’s care. It was bad enough having cancer, but I was with a very special man we had been together for seven years. We were even engaged. As soon as my hair fell out he could not leave fast enough. He was not the only one who left when I needed them the most….my Mother left as soon as things got alittle rough. she left town with as fast as he did with her alcoholic friend. I will never look at her the same again. Three years after my diagnosis the one person, my sister-in-law who dropped everything to help me and my family and asked for nothing in return was murdered, 10 years after her only brother and my husband. She was beaten, raped, stabed and her apartment was set on fire. I have asked God so many times why does he take the good ones we need here on Earth? I swear I think I could write a book about my life….I already know the ending I’M STILL STANDING. I will still help people who I believe truly need help, but for those took advantage of me and my illness, you will get what is coming to you in your next life and I will have nothing to do with that, because I have learned to FORGIVE!!


  28. Hi Beth,
    It’s Christine from Whidbey Island….I think about you and your family lots – and you are in my prayers. We don’t know eachother very well, but we are both moms. I hope you keep resting and resting and receive strength and love from those who get to be a part of your daily life. I am honored that Michelle has allowed me to support you in this way.


  29. […] was Elizabeth on day one of her chemotherapy treatment for breast […]


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