IN BLOOM – NYC Photographer Ocean Morisset

| March 5, 2012 | 0 Comments

Ocean: BLOOM Self Portrait



My name is Ocean Morisset, and I’m a Photographer living in New York City.

The biggest lesson I feel life has been teaching me lately is to trust that whatever adversity I face, all that is needed to overcome it is inside of me. In my case, I learned that my spirit of resilience, determination and courage will never abandon me, and each life challenge I go through, I can rely on it to see me through.

To give you just a bit of background, in July 2011 I was diagnosed with Stage IV Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a blood cancer that spread to my bone marrow. It took a year of being symptomatic to get a proper diagnosis, but once I finally got an answer, I entered the world of the unknown; What would chemo be like? Will I lose my dreds? What physical changes would happen to me? Will I always be sick from the chemo? Will I in fact beat cancer? I had so many questions and emotions with so few answers as I was put on the fast track towards treatment. In a proactive move, I shaved my dredlocks off, because i didn’t want chemotherapy to rob me of them. I photographed myself shortly afterwards– a new me I didn’t recognize at first. This began the process of creating self-portraits to SEE myself as I fight cancer, and to get acquainted with my spirit. i also went public with my battle on Facebook, and in doing so, I received an outpouring of support from friends and strangers.

During my darkest days the fatigue from chemo was so great, all I wanted to do was sleep.  My other fight was not against cancer, but doubt. This was in part due to hearing of other people with my same staging of HL who had lost their battle, or were heading towards a slippery demise. This was particularly difficult to deal with. I wondered if I would have the same fate and visions of my death crept into my mind.

Turning the camera on myself and sharing the images with the world was humbling for me. I felt naked at first, but as time moved on, I became less afraid of cancer. Staying creative throughout the process strengthened me. I never exactly knew what I was going to shoot, or how i was going to shoot myself. I like to say, each photo was directed by my spirit.

So my lesson is to nurture your spirit. There will come a day where you will have to trust and rely on it to get you through. Like anything or anyone else, if you treat them with love and kindness, you will receive it in return. The example not only existed in spiritual form, but also in a great display of humanity by Facebook Friends. From all over the globe, people reached out to me with warm, encouraging words of love and support. I learned, sharing something so “real” and personal opens hearts and creates a bridge for humanity to traverse.

Seven months later, after twelve rounds of chemo, I am proud to call myself a SURVIVOR. My daily challenge now is getting adjusted to my “new” normal. The lessons are still unfolding…


Ocean Website:

View Ocean’s Self- Portraits: Seeing myself as I face cancer.



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Category: ART, Emotional Health, Health & Fitness, IN BLOOM, Spirituality, WELL BEING

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