ADVICE FROM AMIROSE EISENBACH, ON LOSING HER MOTHER TO SKIN CANCER
Writer/producer and founder of Radiant J. Productions, Amirose Eisenbach, shares the story of her mom's battle with skin cancer.
What do you do for work? I’m a writer and producer. I’ll soon be making my directorial debut as well.
I read your article in "Women To Watch Media" and was so inspired by you both personally and professionally. Tell us about your mom. What kind of cancer did she have? For how long? I lost my beautiful mother, Jayne, to melanoma cancer. It will be three years this April. My mom had red hair, freckles and an infectious smile that reached her dazzling green/hazel eyes. She was first diagnosed in her youth but beat it. It came back over 20 years later. We kept isolating the tumors but then it finally metastasized. The last year was beyond heartbreaking watching her wither away.
My mom was an incredible fighter. So much spirit and electricity. She wanted to see and experience everything. She truly loved life. I fell in love with cinema when I was just a little girl because of her. Film was one of her greatest passions. Something we always shared.
What color reminds you of your loved one? What symbol reminds you of your loved one? What quote reminds you of your loved one? Butterflies now remind me of my mom. I named my company, Radiant J. Productions, after her. A monarch butterfly with an Edison bulb is my company logo. It symbolizes trying to help others continue to grow and transform to shine their brightest light. Fall colors remind me of her. Earth tones. Greens, oranges, browns. Probably because she was such a grounding force for me. Films remind me of her. Especially Singin’ in the Rain, Meet Me in St. Louis and Cat Ballou. Films I grew up watching with her and still deeply cherish today.
Do you recall the moment that you found out that she was ill? What was that experience like for you? It felt beyond surreal. My life stopped. I felt like I was just a spectator. I never believed for one moment that she would die. I thought we would beat it because my mom was one of the strongest people I’ve ever known. But as my Dad has said, cancer is really good at its job. There’s no rhyme or reason to the victims it picks. Depending on what kind it is, there’s only so much you can do.
What was one rewarding aspect of experiencing this journey with your mom? The experience has allowed me to become even more compassionate and patient. It has enabled me to keep everything in perspective and to truly not stress about insignificant things. This experience has helped me to continue to take risks and pour my entire heart and soul into everything I do, knowing there is no guarantee of tomorrow. I am becoming the woman I always wanted to be and the woman my mom always knew I would be. I just wish she was around to see it.
What is one piece of advice your loved one gave you that will always stay with you? I always hid my tears from my mom during the process because I wanted to be strong for her. When we received the terminal news that we were officially out of options after trying chemo, surgery, radiation and many other invasive things, I lost it. I held her tight and cried my eyes out. She said something to me that I’ll never forget and it changed me forever. She said, “Well you know what they can’t measure, pretty girl? Human spirit. And mine is strong.” That’s how I always want to remember her. Not the suffering and pain. The beautiful, courageous warrior that raised me. So full of life and passion.
What advice do you have for daughters around the world to grow up to be strong, independent women? Life deals us a hand. Some cards will be amazing and some will be heartbreaking. Handling both the good and the bad with grace is how character is built. We all have stories of pain and tragedy. It connects us on a deep, human level. It feels impossible sometimes, but you must always keep moving forward. Learn to use it all; the light and the dark. Let it fuel you and pour it into something you love. Happiness is a choice and no matter what you’ve been through, you can do the work and choose to live a life filled with joy and love.
That's really beautiful. Thanks so much for opening up about all of this! Lastly, what keeps you inspired? I deeply want to make a real, positive impact in the world. I’m committed to making my mom proud and preserving her legacy by having Radiant J. Productions really stand for something important and special. Through art and events, I’m trying to combat some of the hatred that exists by spreading more connection, love and support to all people. We’re on this journey together. It’s time we act like it.
To connect with Amirose, you can follow her on Twitter @Amirosie / @RadiantJProds or on Instagram @Amirosie / @RadiantJProductions.
To learn more about Radiant J. Productions, checkout the flyer above or attend Indie Soul: An Evening of Art and Connection For a Cause.