Woman Dresses Up as Pop Culture Icons Amid Battle Against Breast Cancer

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Illness wears many faces, and that especially rings true for this New Mexico woman, who dresses up as pop culture icons to stay positive during her battle against breast cancer.

Bethany Pendergrass, who was diagnosed in May 2018, is the woman behind Marge Simpson, Mrs. Doubtfire, Mia Wallace and even Miss Piggy.

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Week 35: "Haven't you heard? One is the new two." Miss Piggy I've never had a problem asserting my individuality as evidenced by this crazy way I've chosen to document my cancer journey 😜. We all have challenges in our lives, and we all choose to deal with them in our own way. There isn't one right way. You have to find what works for you. Taking a positive, humorous approach is what works for me. I believe attitude is everything, and I am the only one who can control my attitude and my response to my current situation. Viktor Frankl said, "Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way." (Please note, he had it way worse than I have it.) I have chosen my way, and I have chosen my attitude. Both have gotten me through the last 9 months, and both will get me through the next 9 months as I have just started another lengthy round of chemo. I'm not excited about it, but I will do it--I will do it in my way. #breastcancer #susangkomen #StandUpToCancer #breastcancersurvivor #bethstrong

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But it all started with Maria from "The Sound of Music," who was brought to life when a friend said she resembled the lovable character when she shaved her head following her first chemo treatment.

“I had a friend tell me, 'Oh gosh you look like Maria from "Sound of Music,"' so as a joke, I put my picture next to Maria's picture and sent it to my friend,” she told InsideEdition.com. “I said, 'You know what? This is what I’m going to do. I’m going to recreate these pictures each week and tie it to my experience and that’s going to be my journal.'”

She explained she has no experience in art or costume design, and purchases most of her supplies from thrift stores.

One week, she dressed as Charlie Chaplin, inspired by his song “Smile," which she said helped her keep her spirits up during her battle.

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Week 12: "When there are clouds in the sky, you'll get by..." Charlie Chaplin Many don't know this, but Charlie Chaplin composed one of my favorite songs, "Smile". This week's message is captured in the lyrics of that iconic song-- "You'll find that life is still worthwhile if you just smile." It is as simple as that. Just smile. #cancersucks #cancerwarrior #fighter #breastcancer #susangkomen #cancer#fuckcancer#survivor Smile though your heart is aching Smile even though it's breaking When there are clouds in the sky, you'll get by If you smile through your fear and sorrow Smile and maybe tomorrow You'll see the sun come shining through for you Light up your face with gladness Hide every trace of sadness Although a tear may be ever so near That's the time you must keep on trying Smile, what's the use of crying? You'll find that life is still worthwhile If you just smile That's the time you must keep on trying Smile, what's the use of crying? You'll find that life is still worthwhile If you just smile

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Last week, Pendergrass needed to feel more like a “Superstar” than normal, so she posted pictures of herself from the movie’s main character Mary Katherine Gallagher.

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Week 42: “SUPERSTAR!” Mary Katherine Gallagher, Superstar I don’t always give myself the credit I deserve. Whether in work, friendships or life in general, I always feel like I can do better. I think it is both a strength and a weakness. A strength, because I am always looking for ways to improve. A weakness, because I am never satisfied. I have struggled with this throughout my chemo treatments particularly on bad days—days when I don’t feel well. I slow down. I am less productive. I lose my positivity and drive. And even though we are all entitled to bad days, I feel ashamed, and I shouldn’t. Instead, I need to feel proud of myself for getting through the tough days. As they say, “Tough times don’t last, but tough people do.” And, by God, I need to remember that I am tough. I am doing the best I can. I am kicking cancer’s ass, and I am a SUPERSTAR!  #breastcancer #susangkomen #StandUpToCancer #breastcancersurvivor #bethstrong

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“I just want people to remember if you can smile at the end of the day, if you can get through it,” she said. “Things can look better again and that's my purpose behind it, just reminding myself that it's going to be OK and there's better times ahead.”

She is currently on her second round of chemotherapy and slated to do radiation therapy later this year.


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