Photographer chronicles wife's breast cancer battle

May 24, 2013 7:37:57 AM PDT
It is hard to understand breast cancer, much less picture it, but a New York photographer did just that when he documented his wife's illness in a series of graphic photos.

They capture intimate moments, the pain of treatment, and even death.

It is a love story and a tragedy.

"We didn't let cancer stop us. We grew closer and more in love with each challenge," said Angelo Merendino, widower.

Photographer Angelo Merendino is working on a book right chronicling his wife's final chapter with breast cancer.

Their New York story begins in Central Park by 100th Street where Angelo and Jennifer were married on a glorious fall day in 2007.

"I started crying. I never imagined I could be so happy, that I could love someone and be loved so much," Merendino said.

Five months later, still in their honeymoon daze, they got the brutal call that Jennifer had breast cancer.

What followed were three grueling years of ups and downs, chemo and hair loss, support and eventually, very little support as their friends and family moved on.

"A lot of people fell off face of earth. We were never mad. Maybe they didn't understand or were as scared as we were," Merendino said.

So, she started writing blogs and he started clicking away.

Jennifer died on December 22, 2011, just days after her 40th birthday.

Time ran out before she had a chance to pursue even a fraction of her dreams.

Angelo is now halfway through his book, and is hoping to have it published soon.

Part of it is an opus to the one he loved, part healing balm for his heart, and part gift to others on the same heartbreaking journey.

"It's a book about life and love. That's what I want people to get out of it. It's more about life than death. It's more about love than loss," Merendino said.