Meet Jennifer K.
“You never know who needs to hear our story.”
I’ve always been a yes person, and when opportunities present themselves to me – I jump in. Enjoying dinner with some friends, Joanna pulled me aside and told me about a friend’s blog needing a cancer patient to try gentle skin care products. Not thinking too much about it, I automatically said yes. It made me smile as the woman I was to contact spelled her name just as I did in high school.
Coincidentally, Dee Mason, who specializes in oncology esthetics, is a longtime friend of mine. I taught her son years ago, and we were both diagnosed with breast cancer almost to the day. We’ve both been following each other’s journeys, so how perfect was this?! By profession, I am a Middle School English Teacher, so how difficult could a blog be for me to complete?
Although I have been extremely positive throughout my battle with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer, I had no idea what I was in store for. My cancer began in my right breast and lymph nodes and spread to my skull, spine, scapula, hips, pelvis, lungs, and several other places.
I also am a trained yoga and meditation teacher. I know that I am not my body. This mentality has helped me with my positive outlook
As I began to write, I realized just how much I was impacted by this dis-ease. Last summer, I had radiation treatment to my skull, and getting words from my head to paper suddenly became a problem for me. I truly struggled with this.
I felt like I was a student giving excuses to Jenni about why my “homework” wasn’t done. Anxiety and stress overwhelmed me, yet Jenni was sweet and patient. It was then, that I did some major reflection about why I was stuck.
It hit me. This was my year milestone for the diagnosis. In one short year, I lost my ability to work, to practice the postures of yoga, forced to move from the house that I loved, my car died, my long red hair fell out – only to come back completely white and wiry, my bank account dwindled, my diet had to change drastically – no sugar, hormones, or dairy. Basically, everything I loved was taken from me… except for an army of friends and family to support me.
In order to feel like I was doing something proactive to help fight the cancer besides my radiation and chemotherapy treatments, I really looked at food as medicine and began to study labels before putting anything into my body.
To experience the Hale & Hush line was perfect and I was so grateful for this opportunity. Our skin is our largest organ, so why wouldn’t I want to use gentle and moisturizing products to help?
Week 1 + 2
Unfortunately, a photo came up on my timeline from Facebook which stopped me in my tracks.
Very few pictures exist of me without makeup. Here I was, newly diagnosed surrounded by some of my yoga family. At first it was just the long red hair that stared me in the face. Then, I kept looking… I had absolutely no idea how much the treatment changed my physical appearance and how dry and damaged my skin now was – not to mention the loss of eyelashes and eyebrows.
More than ever, I was grateful for having the opportunity to work with the Hale & Hush line. In the past, I didn’t seem to need a skin care regime. Now, I couldn’t get enough moisture!