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Kim Ellis

Kim feels free and easy in her artsy Aratta Beauty Bash Wrap Dress with embroidery details, beautiful back and hi-low hem, $160. The perfect necklace accent from Uno de 50 features a bull-head on leather, $185, and Narcaroni earrings add a touch of flirt, $85. Neutral TOMS Majorca cutout sandal, $129, are the perfect basic. Courtesy of Cloz to Home, Loveland.

Courage. It may not be something we are all born with, but it sure is something life will teach ya! John Wayne said it best, “Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.” Maybe we should all just learn from the legend John Wayne instead of the hard knocks of life! Seems to not always work that way, which is why I am here to tell you how I found my courage, and ‘saddled up anyway.’ Just like so many other courageous women before me, I found a lump. This lump was ultrasound as a cyst in January of 2014. I continued with my life as a wife to my best friend, Wade, my three great children, and my patients as an Equine Medical Nurse Supervisor at Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital. By the time August 2015 had rolled around, this cyst I had been carrying around had gotten larger and physically harder and painful. A couple months later, by the beginning of November 2015, it ached and became even more painful, which is when I really knew something was going on, especially when my nipple had become inverted. Throughout my journey I kept hearing how ‘cancer isn’t painful,’ but I had come to find out, at this exact point, none of that was the truth! I was here now with all my motherly and wifely duties to attend to, specifically when my father-in-law had been diagnosed with a terminal condition. I did what most any other strong mother and wife would do and buckled down to get my family through this hardship, but didn’t realize at the time how I needed to have courage to put myself first! By the end of January 2016, I finally decided to go see my PA who called for an ultrasound and mammogram right away. The ultrasound had measured my tumor at 2.5 cm in diameter with four suspicious lymph nodes. Reality had now set in at this point, hearing my doctors using the word ‘cancer.’ It was measurable, physical and certain that this was now an aspect of my life and not just a mental thought anymore. It was a very fast paced growing tumor that led me a few days later to a series of nine biopsies of my left breast and lymph nodes. After confirmation of the biopsies it was determined I had Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. But, as fast growing as the tumor was, so was the process. One week later I met with my oncologist, formed a plan between her and my plastic surgeon, and so it began. My chemo port was placed and two days later I started my chemo treatments. By the end I had drug myself to 12 taxal treatments and four AC treatments, totaling 16 times seeing the wonderful nurses at the UC Health Cancer Center. Those treatments took up my entire summer, made me feel up and down a lot, which led me to two blood transfusions due to taxol toxicity, but most of all it took away from my family. My husband became more of a rock to me and for me then I ever thought was possible! My kids kept me going and kept me laughing, which we all know is so important through times like that! My oldest son, at 20-years-old that summer, pointed out he finally knew I did not have eyes in the back of my head because I obviously had lost my hair! End of June 2016, those treatments were finally over and we moved on to the removal of the ‘Toxic Titties’ which my daughter decided sounded better then a double mastectomy. August 1, 2016, became a triple-crown kind of day. Not only was it the surgery CONTINUED ON PG 52

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2017-09 Lydia's Style Magazine  
2017-09 Lydia's Style Magazine  

Annual Breast Cancer Issue!