Beauty and the beast (Nicole and cancer)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

I know a girl, a beautiful girl and then she got cancer and something very surprising happened. She became even more beautiful.

she dyed and chopped off her long blonde hair before cancer could take it from her

I used to work with Nicole for years. We haven't intentionally hung out in a long time (and when we did it was usually with coworkers and drinks were involved), but I am always happy to see her smiling face when I go to the restaurant we worked at together.

She's one of those people that is just genuinely happy, sweet and kind. She's a beautiful person, inside and out. We are Facebook friends so I've been fortunate to follow her life after we stopped working together. Her boyfriend, turned fiance, turned husband. Her super cute dog. Their first house and their wedding. In so many ways our lives are very similar. Maybe that's why I feel so compelled to write about her story, it could easily be me... or any other one of my friends or family members. Cancer doesn't discriminate.

I was on Facebook one day, wasting time as I tend to do on Facebook, and I happened upon one of Nicole's posts. She was announcing that she was diagnosed with breast cancer two days prior. My heart sank and then I read one of her next comments about not having to shave her legs for the summer. She was making a joke (and a funny one at that). Her positivity since then has been nonstop.

the hair transformation continues - seriously, this girl can rock any style/color



I don't have to think about it for a second. Of course you can write about me, I would be honoured if you would tell my story. There's a lot of days I'm not feeling well, or I'm sad, but I would never let it show. Everyone has been so supportive and claim to be inspired by me.. That makes it all worth while. If I can make a difference in just one persons life, then it makes it all worth it. I believe I'm meant to do this, that I can help people.

mohawk style with a smile (and a pretty cute dog!)


I won't get into the injustice of someone so young, so kind and so beautiful getting cancer. I can't do that because I know she'd hate it. Nicole has been very clear, she wants no pity. She goes out of her way not to feel sorry for herself and would not like anyone else doing it for her. She has chosen not to wallow in anger, sadness and utter frustration (not that we'd blame her if she did). She has chosen to fight, and fight shes. I don't know if she has chosen to be a role model, but a role model she is. I trust and hope young people (or anyone) that sees her, reads her story and knows that they too can fight and will win. Can smile, laugh and have hope.

It's next to impossible to capture the ways Nicole has moved me. The numbers of times I've felt compelled to send her a message. Sure, I want to know how she's doing but mostly I want to say "you're a rockstar". I can only begin to imagine how Nicole is impacting every one who crosses her path. Her family, friends, fellow chemo patients. She is changing lives with her positivity. I know this with everything in me.

absolutely stunning! And tell me that smile isn't contagious!!


She bravely cut off and later shaved her hair so cancer couldn't take that from her. She and her mom (who is also a breast cancer survivor) dress up for Nicole's treatments and bake cupcakes and cookies for everyone they run into.

As most Facebookers know, people complain about everything (guilty) and it is rare to see a positive or optimistic message let alone an entire newsfeed. Reading about Nicole's diagnosis and then seeing all of her optimism, positivity and absolutely radiant smiles just does something to me. It caused (and continues to cause me) pause. She has been routinely encouraging people to do something nice for someone else just because. It is a truly beautiful thing.

Nicole and her momma all dressed up in just one of their weekly costumes (made by her mom). They brought cookies and cupcakes that week to staff and patients at the hospital. 


How do I stay so positive? It's like I said today in the interview, I don't let myself feel otherwise. There's no room for negativity. Every day is a blessing and I will find the positives. Also hugely comes down to all of you and the role social media has played in my recovery. It's all the positive msgs telling me I can do it, that I'm beautiful, and most importantly making a difference to someone that keeps me going.


So why did I want to write about Nicole? Her ongoing story is uplifting in the most unexpected ways. Her positive spirits is impossible to ignore. She makes me (and countless others) smile on a daily basis, despite whatever pain she is in. Most of all, she motivates me to try and be more positive and to take the time give some of my energy to make someone else's day just a little bit better.


As far as what I want people to get out of it.. I want people to know that it's ok. That no matter what you're going through, whether it's cancer, another disease, or just a rough patch that it's still worth fighting. Or at least trying. I could be puking but you'd still see me walk out with a smile. It's all about perception and I strongly believe that the mind controls the body. I may have cancer, but I still consider myself healthy. Mentally I'm the strongest I've ever been if that makes sense.. And that just comes down to the effort I've been putting into it.


No one chooses to get sick but Nicole makes a choice every day to fight and be strong and the support she receives from others only fosters that amazing and courageous spirit. Nicole is impacting people who are in turn impacting her. Her positive outlook is inspiring many and all the feedback of inspiration only makes her will stronger.


At the relay for life. Beautiful as always (and a pretty kick-ass wig I might add!)


Cancer is a monster. A cruel and unyielding beast. But it ain't got nothing on Nicole. Cancer might take her hair but it sure as hell isn't taking her spirit.







14 comments:

  1. What a wonderful article about your friend! She is so beautiful, and her smile lights up every picture. My mom beat breast cancer 10 years ago, and I know her positive attitude played a huge part. Blessings and good thoughts to Nicole - she is an inspiration!

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    1. Thanks Lana! She is such a star, I had to write about her. She's already touched so many!

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  2. This is awesome. I am definitely one of those people who focuses so much on the negative - people like Nicole have me in awe of how much positive they can see in the world. She definitely is a rockstar! And she's also rocking the hell out of that mohawk (and all the other hair styles...)! I definitely wish her all the best for many, many years to come!

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    1. I KNOW!! I've already told her it's insane how great she looks regardless of hair color or style... or hair at all!
      She's definitely made me a more positive person... if she can have that outlook, I have no excuses.

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  3. A wonderful tribute to a wonderful friend. She is one super gal and I have never met her although I feel that I have
    . Her mom is also a positive force and I have had the pleasure of knowing her. God Bless you both. Betty Baker

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    1. Nicole and her mom are both amazing and beautiful women who inspire people every single day. They both deserve to be recognized by all of us!

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  4. Wow. Really, just wow. When you see people who have every reason to complain and don't it seriously just makes you want to be a better person doesn't it? If I could give her a high five and a hug, I certainly would. Thanks for this post!

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    1. I'm sure she'll appreciate that Yalanda... if it makes even one person want or try to be a better person than it's worth it for Nicole...

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  5. What a beautiful story and tribute to your friend! I will keep her in my thoughts and prayers!! And I agree, every style looks great on her!!

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    1. thanks Katie, any thoughts and prayers are appreciated!

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  6. Such a beautiful tribute! Nicole is amazing and an inspiration!

    Jill
    dousedinpink.blogspot.com

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  7. What a great story. Thank you for sharing with us!

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  8. Really impressing. I highly appreciate your sharing, its always interesting. Thanks for the share!

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