L'oscurità, ma io ho una luce

Digital photography /mobile photography/ project 2018/2019, while I was at the hospital. Working in progress, book.


L'oscurità, ma io ho una luce is an autobiographical work that deals with my illness and the discovery of inner strength and light. 

I looked at myself in a mirror, and couldn’t accept the emaciated image as my own. This time, I felt a stranger to myself.

I took on this project during the most acute period of my illness. I was 55 days in hospital. I’d lost 16 kilos in two months.

I was skeletal, too weak to lift my head from the pillow. My skin had weakened. My digestive system was fucked.

At 42 I looked like an old lady.

I felt impotent, I wanted to die. I needed to find strength to live.

I began writing feelings and thoughts in English and Italian on pieces of paper ... and taking pictures with my camera and mobile, to distract myself from pain and to find comfort that then, I put together. I decided to create a journal of my life in hospital, to trust that everything would be ok again.

I hope that sharing my experiences might help others that are struggling.



A volte, non sempre va tutto come vorremmo, ma la cosa importante è non arrendersi mai.

In fondo al tunnel del buio c’è la luce.

C’è una luce, cercala!

È sempre stata lì con te…

Da sempre

 Tu sei Luce

  Brilla quanto più puoi ...

Loredana Denicola | L'oscurità ma io ho una luce | photo book project
Loredana Denicola | self portrait | L'oscurità ma io ho una luce | photo book project
Loredana Denicola | L'oscurità ma io ho una luce | photo book project
Loredana Denicola | self portrait | L'oscurità ma io ho una luce | photo book project

I was too sick to leave my bed. In fact, I was too weak even to lift my head from the pillow. At the age of 42, I found myself almost dead. I had lost 16 kilos: I looked skeletal.
How many times — I cried.
So many times I accused myself of being neglectful. I didn’t have veins; I didn’t have liquids in my body — I was shrunken and de-hydrated. It was awful. I could only breath. But … I was still alive.
I knew I had a choice — to get control of the situation, or to leave that same control to others. I chose to go forward, and heal myself. I chose ‘life’.
When slowly, slowly, I felt a bit better (… and it took me 6 months) I decided to get information, to study my ‘disease’: I read books on biochemistry, to know how my internal chemistry worked, and to find a solution; I learned about nutrition, aliments’ combination to help digestion, and yoga and qi gong, to calm my mind — discovering other, ‘alternative’ ways to help my body, my mind and my spirit: to accept my sickness, that I only had created, and to accelerate my healing.
Health is a choice.Illness is not a disease.

It is an imbalance in your body, which tells you that something is wrong — and that you can help yourself to grow or to recede. If you give your cells what they need, and if you care for your body, which is your temple, and for your mind, which is your will, and for your spirit, which is your strength, and further, if you care for your emotions, you will not become sick ...

Loredana Denicola | L'oscurità ma io ho una luce | blood | photo book project
Loredana Denicola | L'oscurità ma io ho una luce | underwear | photo book project




Colite Ulcerosa severa attiva (Mayo UC score 3). In corso esame istologico su biopsie del retto, ricerca inclusi da CMV (CITO MEGALOVIRUS).


Il colonoscopio è inserito sino alla fessura splenica. Mostra la presenza di ampie ulcerazione confluenti con isole di rigenerazione nel discendente sigma. Il retto mostra una mucosa iperemica, edematosa ed erosa. Eseguite biopsie multiple su sigma e retto. Colite ulcerosa in fase di severa attività.

05 Gennaio 2018

Esame CMV (CITO MEGALOVIRUS) Positivo. Si esegue al momento terapia con anti-virus per 28 giorni.

Loredana Denicola | L'oscurità ma io ho una luce | photo book project
Loredana Denicola | L'oscurità ma io ho una luce | photo book project
Loredana Denicola | L'oscurità ma io ho una luce | photo book project
Loredana Denicola | L'oscurità ma io ho una luce | photo book project
Loredana Denicola | L'oscurità ma io ho una luce | photo book project


When my sister helped me to take off my pajamas to wash myself in the hospital toilet, I saw my body in the mirror. I closed my eyes and cried. I didn’t want to see such hurtful truth. I was scared … deeply.


What had I done to myself? From 8.82 stone (or 56 kg) in October 2017, my weight had fallen to 6.46 stone — 40 kg.

I was unwholesome: my skin had weakened, and I looked like an old lady, all aged skin and bones.

It was astonishing to see my body react: shrinking, transforming; abandoning the skin — and me. I felt very weak — sometimes without even the energy to answer the phone. I still passed only blood in the toilet, with no traces of poo for more than three months.

Where had my poo gone? It had disappeared.

Then, I thought about my body’s vital functions: how much I had aggravated them — so that, by then, everything was upside down. My immune system had lost its equilibrium; it was not recognizing what was good for me, and what was bad. My digestive system was fucked … we are so complex.


I had destroyed my body.


Believe me, it is shocking, when you see your reflection, to feel its sick energy, reduced almost to that of a helpless vegetable: impotent, having to accept your fate …

Deep inside your mind, a little voice shouts, loudly — I can change my fate: why must I accept it …? I will transform it as I wish.

It is hard just to accept something as it is, especially when it is bad for you. You look at yourself as a detached observer, and see yourself helpless — who is that woman?


You cannot get up anymore, because you don’t have the physical strength. You are a piece of meat, lying on a bed.

People are helping you; without them, you couldn’t do anything. Your mind is absent …

I am trying to motivate myself: I am desperately looking for my inner strength; the whole process requires mental strength — yet also acceptance, hope, compassion for oneself, patience.


You realise that, for the time being, you cannot do anything about the situation.  You can only wait — patiently — and trust that everything will be ok again, in the end.

Have trust in life — and especially in yourself. Forget everything else: just relax, and move on; seeing your disease as an opportunity, and not as a problem.


One day, it will pass. Oh my God — it is so difficult!

Loredana Denicola | L'oscurità ma io ho una luce | operating room | photo book project
Loredana Denicola | L'oscurità ma io ho una luce | photo book project

How many of us set our health, in just that way? How many of us choose to be well? How many of us actually know what we feel, what we think?

We are multidimensional energy systems, and our thoughts, beliefs and attitudes create energy fields that influence our biochemistry and affect our health.Things must change: we need to be educated to know how our body and mind work. It is known that we can implant a new artificial heart surgically, but we cannot prevent or cure heart disease. Why?

The answer is that few resources are devoted  to study of the body’s healing system, or to helping patients to understand and support their own health at a cellular level.
Everyone is unique. Everyone is human, and — from a suffering viewpoint — equally in need.
We are all looking for health, for happiness, for love. Yet patients are regarded as machines, not as unique individuals.
Everyone with the same complaint receives the same treatment — regardless of biochemical individuality, which could see two people with the same so-called ‘disease’ needing different treatments, since no two people’s cells malfunction for the same reason.
Adopting a more rational system of medicine would result in an enormous reduction in healthcare costs by eliminating hundreds of thousands of physicians, and closing thousands of hospitals — not to mention the potential financial ruin of drug companies.
The majority of physicians support efforts by state medical and government regulatory boards to suppress alternative approaches. Bad things have happened to doctors who step out of line. Physicians who have dared to introduce alternative treatments have had their licences revoked, and been financially ruined.

Money is at stake, and alternative treatments are discouraged.
Physicians, in Modern Medicine, are not able to listen to a patient on an emotional level, and help him to understand the cause of a disease and give advice. They are not focused on finding the causes; they are interested in giving drugs to stop the symptoms.
Unfortunately they have been trained in this way, throughout their professional life. But this approach doesn’t cure diseases.
Instead, it has doctors leave you alone, completely lost, full of doubt, waiting for the disease to develop symptoms, that they can categorize, and match to a listed pathology written in their medical journal. Afterwards comes the procedure; they give us drugs, according to the pathology identified, after months of symptoms.
Unable to stand pain, we take the drugs prescribed, praising the doctor as the only one who knows about our illness.

But how can someone who has never had my pathology help me?

Extracts from the book: L'oscurità ma io ho una luce, written by Loredana Denicola