It was while feeding her newborn that Franks discovered a lump in her breast. “It kept growing. I was told over and over that it was mastitis, but,” her voice wavers, “it wasn’t mastitis.” Eventually, Franks was delivered the earth-shattering news that she had breast cancer.
Franks speaks candidly about the three waves of emotion that have accompanied her illness: first shock, denial and terror; then a period of fight and survival – “You put on your warrior hat and treat cancer like a job” – and finally a sense of self-exploration and acceptance.
It was during the second phase that Franks gathered her closest friends to watch Jones shave her head. “It was confronting and scary but it was the one thing I had control over,” says Franks steadily. As her waist-length locks fell to the ground, she felt like she’d been stripped back to her most raw and authentic – and, in a strange way, her most beautiful. “If it wasn’t for what it represented, I’d actually love my new hair,” she says of her dyed blonde crop. “Actually, I secretly do love it!”
Read the full story in the April issue of marie claire, out Thursday.