Age 47, diagnosed at 39, re-diagnosed at 45, family history, no known genetic mutation
BRAVE. Our theme for A Calendar to Live By 2021, INSPIRED, shares the word that resonates most with each of our calendar ambassadors and reflects the woman she has become since her cancer journey began. Candice's word is BRAVE. Here is her story.
Candice, who retired from a job in law enforcement and is mom to a now-teenage son, noticed that one of her nipples became inverted, so she went to the doctor to have it checked. A mammogram and ultrasound detected breast cancer which was later identified as stage 3. A bilateral mastectomy, reconstruction, chemo, then radiation followed.
About five years after her treatment ended, Candice noticed she had a non-productive cough that was steadily getting worse. Her doctor’s diagnosis of asthma didn’t seem right to her, so Candice, knowing she was her own best advocate, got a second opinion and discovered that her cancer had metastasized to her lungs. Chemo has improved her symptoms and she has been stable on her current treatments. She faced difficulties during her journey, but she was determined to live her best life while raising her young son.
The word brave describes how Candice has dealt with her life since diagnosis. “Brave means standing tall and taking on all of life's many challenges,” she says. “It means showing others how to handle curve balls life throws you with grace and dignity; brave means being the best parent I can be and setting the best example for my son, despite my cancer diagnosis.”
MORE TO ADD: "I have found H4TG a very welcoming organization with young women, similar to myself, having been diagnosed with breast cancer. It is enlightening to be able to talk with others and discuss how I feel, what I am experiencing, and/or sharing our personal experiences in our cancer journey. The women in H4TG get me!"