updated 05/17/2014 AT 8:35 PM ET
•originally published 05/16/2014 AT 11:45 AM ET
Four months into her marriage, Jennifer Glass received devastating news: A lump in her neck turned out to be stage IV lung cancer, with a five-year survival rate of five percent.
“I’ve always thought of myself as a top-of-my-lungs type of girl, yet that’s the very part of my body that has betrayed me,” she wrote on her blog at Parade magazine.
Resolving to battle the disease with everything they had, Glass and her husband began a portrait project: He would take a photo of her a day, for a year, documenting her progress.
Throughout that year, the photo series showed the effects of chemotherapy on Glass’s body, as she began to lose her hair, and suffered severe skin irritation from the effects of her medication.
Glass says the photo series was part of an overall effort to live fearlessly; when the series was over, she uploaded it to YouTube accompanied by a wry song, “I Seem to Have Cancer Today,” which she wrote alongside her brother Lawrence.
Fortunately, her journey so far has had a happy ending: Though she’s not officially in remission, doctors say her cancer has stopped growing.
Glass discussed her diagnosis in a two-minute talk produced in a public speaking course, “Own the Room.”
“I do believe that if you take fear out of the equation, even a little bit,” she said, “it enables you to see more clearly, make better decisions and, in some small degree, feel like you’re controlling something that is uncontrollable.”
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