Conquering Breast Cancer

Conquering Breast Cancer

Stacie's Story ...

For Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we spoke with a lifelong friend of ours, Stacie, about her journey with breast cancer and we’re sharing it for awareness, inspiration, and support. Thank you Stacie for allowing 3Talking Bees to showcase your endless strength- you are incredible!

In 2022, Stacie's world was interrupted by a series of reminder letters in her mailbox. She didn’t think much of the frequent past-due notices for a routine mammogram as most ended up in her trash. But if Stacie could go back, she would have jumped at the opportunity to schedule that 30 minute test. 

It was during her annual physical that she faced the inevitable question from her primary care doctor: have you recently had a mammogram? Stacie’s negative response set the wheels in motion and before she knew it, she was at an appointment for a 3D mammogram. After the 3D mammogram, a call for more imaging followed, triggering that familiar sinking feeling in Stacie's chest. "It was an uh oh moment that made me think ‘here we go again’,” she recounted. The subsequent biopsy confirmed her fears, and suddenly, her life was thrust into the whirlwind of cancer treatment discussions. 

Having battled lymphoma before in 2006, Stacie approached this journey with a different, “I can do this” perspective, embracing aggressive treatment from the very beginning. Yet, when the doctor's words confirmed her diagnosis and options were presented, a surreal numbness set in. "When receiving the news, you tend to tune things out at the doctor’s because you’re still trying to process," she shared with her sister Heidi by her side.

Stacie had several options thanks to early detection, but the choice was ultimately hers. The oncology surgeon carefully detailed out the possibilities – a single mastectomy, lumpectomy and lift, or a double mastectomy with reconstruction. Stacie opted for the latter which not only gave her physical healing but also a sense of empowerment and womanhood. "Scars are part of your journey showing that yep, I made it through this," Stacie said. Your scars are unique to you just as your story is.

The double mastectomy came with its fair share of challenges from the dreaded drains to finding a comfortable (and fitting) bra. 3 years ago, Stacie began working as an Independent Sales Consultant for Zyia, an active lifestyle brand. Little did she know that her own business would provide her with the perfect post-surgery bra, signifying a God engineered victory in her journey.  "[I] found a perfect bra after the mastectomy that made the process so much easier," she said, emphasizing how the little things made an enormous difference. Stacie expressed her gratitude for the unwavering support from the Zyia community, and their bras! 

Not all aspects of support were as helpful. Stacie pointed out how words held immense power. "What was NOT helpful? You don’t have to say you’re sorry," she emphasized, highlighting the significance of choosing words with care. She reminded us to take a moment to think about what you say before saying it because you never know what someone is going through. 

On the other hand, she acknowledged the impact of a positive mindset. “No matter what, you have to stay positive. The more positive things you think about, the more positive things happen,” Stacie remarked. Having “been there, done that”, Stacie kept pushing on and knew she could overcome again. 

Stacie’s journey was riddled with challenges. Being a caregiver for a family member with Alzheimer’s and having to be there for her daughters added multiple layers of complexity, demanding her strength in the face of adversity. Her routine, the mundane aspects of life, kept her grounded. “When you keep yourself moving and doing things, it helps you through it. When you’re laying around, you tend to stew in it.” said Stacie. She emphasized the importance of a busy mind and busy body after a cancer diagnosis and throughout treatment. 

Family, friends, and coworkers became her pillars of strength. From her Zyia community sending meals to her home to friends keeping her company after surgery, their support became the bedrock upon which she built her resilience. Even people calling to check in helped so much- it really is the little things that make the biggest difference.

Stacie found gratitude in the gift of waking up each day and the chance to cherish life. Her message to others going through a tough time was inspiring, "YOU CAN DO THIS. You’re going to make it through this. You are stronger than what you give yourself credit for." Oh, and get a recliner! You won’t be sorry. 

In sharing Stacie's courageous journey during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we've witnessed an extraordinary tale of strength and unwavering determination. Stacie's story reminds us of the power of early detection, the importance of positive thinking, and the profound impact of support from loved ones and communities. Her ability to face challenges head-on, balancing the complexities of life as a caregiver and a mother, is nothing short of inspiring. Through her experiences, Stacie has taught us the significance of embracing the little victories, finding empowerment in choices, and appreciating the beauty of life even in its most challenging moments. 

If you’re interested in learning more about Zyia, scan the QR code to get in touch with Stacie who can introduce you to their products!