A two time breast cancer survivor, that would be me....
Hi I’m Kandace McMenomy and I have been in the fitness industry since 2001. I started personal training in college and post-college started my own business.
I remember the feeling of being so tired that I just wanted to cry. That same week I felt a tiny lump underneath my arm. I went to the doctor and had the lump checked out on March 23, 2011. I was diagnosed with stage II breast cancer. I was shocked. Did this mean I was going to die? One week later, the surgeon removed seventeen lymph nodes, seven of which were cancerous from my left auxiliary area. I underwent twelve chemo treatments and thirty-six treatments of radiation. I compared the treatment plan to running a marathon. I knew the months ahead were going to be challenging: mentally, emotionally and physically. When you run a marathon, you have to pace yourself. The first few miles are okay, but as you continue to run it gets harder, you reach a point of wanting to stop, physically you hurt, you’re mentally exhausted and emotionally you want to sit down and cry. The cancer journey is the same. You have to want to cross that finish line and you have to want to beat cancer. The cause of my cancer is still unknown and in my lifetime I will probably never know the cause of the disease. According to the doctor, he felt the cancer had been in my body for about seven years. I contributed my healthy lifestyle and positive attitude to not having symptoms of cancer earlier. Needless to say, the experience forever changed me...
March of 2016, I reached my five year anniversary of being cancer free. Six months later, I was diagnosed with a re-occurrence. This time was different. The cancer was all over my body: the original site, my lungs, sternum, spine and hips. I was shocked. How could this happen again?
Fortunately, I did not have to go through the traditional chemotherapy. Instead, I take a chemo pill 3 weeks out of the month and monthly shots. Treatment was much easier the second time around. My re-occurrence lasted ten months and even
though I am in remission, I will continue on this treatment plan indefinitely.
Cancer is a scary word until you are personally confronted with the disease. My inner strength, drive and attitude kept me pushing through to stay as fit as possible, to recover more quickly and to resume a normal lifestyle. I am passionate about health and wellness, which goes beyond being a cancer survivor. I eat clean because it makes me feel good. I workout because it reduces stress and I run marathons because it is a personal challenge. Long before my diagnosis, eating
healthy and exercising was a way of life for me spanning more than twenty years. Now, sustaining these healthy habits is no longer a choice, but a necessity for a full life.