Today I'm slowing things down a bit in my corner of the internet. I wanted to get a little personal and a lot real, and share one of the more defining times in my life. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and I have teamed up with The Estée Lauder Companies in support of The BCA Campaign: "Let's Defeat Breast Cancer-We're Stronger Together."
Top: Lulu*s c/o | Bottoms: Old Navy  | Ring: Kendra Scott | Neckalce: Helen Ficalora (similar) | Nails: China Glaze "Evening Seduction"

Cancer in general is a very personal subject for me.  My dad passed away from prostate cancer when I was 21.  I sailed that wave of emotion, hope, despair, and sadness that comes with fighting and losing the battle with cancer.  One week after my son Cash was born, I felt a lump in my breast while nursing him.  Every nurse I talked with said it was probably a clogged duct.  After it hadn't gone down by the second week, I went in to get it looked at.  It wasn't a clogged duct.  It was a tumor.  All of a sudden the words 'biopsy' and 'oncologist' (words that brought back so many memories of a very scary time) were now words that I was saying in my own home, while holding my brand new baby.  After a rather painful biopsy (by far a lot more traumatic and invasive than I was prepped for), we waited for three days to hear if my tumor was cancerous or not.  I remember sitting on my bed with my two small boys and my husband for those entire three days.  I didn't want them to leave my sight, and felt the need to physically cling to them while my mind went to scary "what if" territory that I tried to stop it from doing.

My Grandma was diagnosed with breast cancer after returning home from a trip to visit her first grandson.  She told me how devastating it was to hear the news.  She told herself, “I’ll get through this. I’m not going to let this stop me.”  My Granny is one of the strongest women I know.  She underwent a single mastectomy that successfully removed her tumor, and didn't hesitate once about the surgery.  She fought cancer head on.  After asking her about the surgery she replied, “The scar is still there, but that’s just the way it is”.  

Garrett stayed home from school the day we received the phone call with my test results.  I heard the words "not cancer" on the other end of my phone, and fell to my knees instantly offering a prayer of thanks.  I was very lucky.  But so many women are not.  From that moment, I have felt an instant connection to anyone I have come into contact with that has been diagnosed with breast cancer.  I know the power that comes from having the support of loved ones.  

Visit The Estée Lauder Breast Cancer Awareness (BCA) Campaign site to hear more touching stories from those affected by breast cancer, share your story,and to learn more about The Estée Lauder Companies’ BCA Campaign. You’ll see the first piece from their 2014 video series “Hear our stories. Share yours.” on their website—it’s very touching and worth watching. You can also follow
The BCA Campaign:

Compensation for this post was provided by The Estée Lauder Companies via AOL Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of The Estée Lauder Companies or AOL.  

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