In honor of the month of October raising breast cancer awareness, I wanted to feature my dear friend Candy! Candy is an amazing wife, mother, friend, and business owner. I have never met some one more joyful. Her smile can brighten a room! But what I love most about her, is that no matter what storm comes her way, she does it gracefully, with a smile on her face.
Throughout Candy’s battle of breast cancer, her joy, her peace, her hope, and that smile remained. Even though she did “fight like a girl,” she knew she wasn’t fighting this battle alone. She made it very clear how God was the one who fought this battle for her and who gave her the strength.
On April 5th, 2015, was when Candy found the lump. Three days later she was tested, and on April 17th, Candy was diagnosed with Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS). This form of breast cancer is found inside a milk duct of the breast. On the bright side, DCIS, is noninvasive and did not spread outside of the milk duct. Because there were a total of 2 lumps found, it was vital for Candy to get a mastectomy.
The only thing was, Candy had plans to go on a family cruise to celebrate her husband’s birthday in June. She had been saving and planning for so long, but after the diagnosis her hubby wanted to reschedule it. Like any caring and concerned husband, she was first priority. But at this point in time SHE needed the cruise. This would be a special time with her family that she needed before the harsh chemo treatments.
After that trip was when she told her two children that in 5 days she was going to get a mastectomy. Her son Maison assured her that even though it was scheduled on her husband’s birthday, June 29th, that it is also a celebration of her life, and victory over breast cancer. Reassuring her that it won’t bring down that day. He’s so sweet!
Unfortunately the chemo called, Herceptin, began while getting the harsh treatments starting mid-August of 2015. These days were terrible and she needed all of the support she could get. The nausea and debilitating reality of it was so hard. The simple tasks like cooking and cleaning were unbearable to do. Gratefully her husband, mother, some family members, and close friends rallied around her to help with what was needed. A dear friend hired a maid for her at one point and her friends rotated cooking meals for her family.
The disheartening moment she realized her hair starting to fall out was when she messaged all of her close friends, said she was going to the hair salon that evening, after it was closed, to shave her head. She made it very clear to them that she did not want tears, but laughter. I do not know how in that moment that could be her request, but it is truly admirable and a reflection of Candy! Her close friend Jetzy even cut her hair and donated it in honor of her, as well as her niece Tiana.
I remember seeing the pictures Candy posted online right after this happened, and I could not believe how inspiring her cheery, strong, and smiley disposition was. That smile of hers was beaming. Amazing…. She still looked absolutely stunning with her hair wrapped.
Her reconstructive surgery occurred mid-February of this year! I can’t imagine how good that must have felt regaining some type of normalcy and confidence. She was able to start working again in March and is now working at a new job that fits her schedule and is most conducive for her lifestyle. Mid-October of 2016 her harsh treatments ended, and things are really starting to get better! She is regaining more and more strength every day!
Candy is so full of life, so we felt it was only necessary to have some fun and deck her all out in her pink attire!
I love her!!! <3
Candy’s last chemo treatment was just this past October 15th!!!
She kicked breast cancer in the butt! Praise God!!!
On her birthday, her and group of her close friends participated in The American Cancer Society 5K walk: Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. What a victorious and exhilarating day!!! I am so beyond happy for her!
They gave this bell to ring, as a sound of victory for being a survivor!
Candy will be hosting a breast cancer awareness event on Saturday, January 28, 2017. It will be hosted at the Blackstone Valley Tourism Center: 175 Main Street, Pawtucket, RI!!Candy, thank you so much for sharing your journey in detail with me! Even though I did not share all of the details here, it was so special and precious to me to hear the ins and outs of what you went through. I appreciate your vulnerability and honesty. I cannot imagine what it must have been like and I am so happy that you are here today to share it!!! I admire your strength and the faith you had to trust God, that He was going to see you through. You are a great testament of His goodness and faithfulness to His children!
You are loved by so many and have made such an impact on so many lives. Thank you for the opportunity to capture your beauty, personality, and strength. You radiate God’s love and joy! I love you!!!
P.S Mrs. Candy loves my daughter Hope, so I brought her along, with her loved Pink Care Bear. <3
Charity, excellent job on photos and capturing Candy’s story. My I use the text for the piece I’m doing on her for my “Praise Dance” series? Let me know.
And Still I Rise,
Love the story. I loved the way you photographed her with path behind her, to me it meant starting her journey in life anew. Keep up the good work.
What an awesome story and you captured such great pictures! My God is Awesome!
Thank you Charity! I had so much fun at the photo shoot and talking about this journey is so therapeutic so thank you for the opportunity! God bless you!Love u!!