In The News
Nadia Strong current feature on TucsonWeekly.com.
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Hi, my name is Karli. It’s been so interesting and cathartic for me as I sit down and take the time to document my breast cancer journey. I just celebrated my 5 year “remission” anniversary on April 13th, 2018, and I think I kept myself SO preoccupied until that 5 year period, that I never allowed myself the opportunity to truly reflect and process all that my body has actually gone through.
I’ve just recently started seeing a Psychologist who is helping me to deal with the PTSD diagnosis that I’ve obtained from not only my Breast Cancer, but also from past experiences that I internalized which studies have shown can also be related to breast cancer occurrence.
I remember taking a shower and for the first time in a long time NOT using the loofah as usual. Hmmm, that’s weird, that feels bumpy, but I have been working out quite a bit, so maybe it’s just a “muscle” thing I thought. Well 2 months later that “muscle” thing was confirmed as an 8mm Invasive Lobular Carcinoma.
My world turned upside down…CANCER??? ME???? I’m only 38, how could this be happening? There is no family history of BREAST cancer at all in our family. I had already gone through skin cancer and pre-cervical cancer which required a partial hysterectomy 2 years earlier, what is with my girlie parts boycotting on me???
I don’t remember much of the rest of that day once the “C” word entered my life. I fell to my knees in my Husbands arms as he held me & we cried and prayed together.
Ok Lord, if this is Your will for my life, then I know that if you bring me TO it, you will bring me THROUGH it! Time to adjust my crown and “carry on”, as the Daughter of the King that I know that I am. I immediately reached out to the Prayer Warriors in my life to have them partnering with us in prayer for my complete healing and recovery.
I knew that God had led me to exactly where I was supposed to be and that this was no coincidence.
After the initial lumpectomy was evaluated, it was then determined that it was Hormone Receptor ER+ and PR + and they took 3 lymph nodes from my R side for testing. Funny thought was that during my 2011 Hysterectomy they talked me out of having a COMPLETE hysterectomy because I was “so young”, yet had I not had that estrogen flowing from my ovaries through my system those years, there was a chance that I wouldn’t have developed this Estrogen positive cancer that was now trying to kill me. Hmmm…really God?! He has ALWAYS been faithful to me through my life, so I know that He would use this to minister to someone so here we go.
And, as is usual for me…there was complication…after complication…infection, hospitalization, drains not draining, too much bleeding, but THEN…the lymph node testing showed that they were indeed containing tumors. HOWEVER, during my entire journey, I had my friends, family, FB group praying & believing “Have Faith…EXPECT miracles” over me. And I specifically was believing Philippians 4:13…I can do ALL things (and I added…Including BEATING cancer) through Christ who strengthens ME!
So during my lymph node TUMOR removal surgery, they COULDN’T FIND IT! They kept digging, and prodding, and poking, and rearranging, and there was NO CANCER THERE! So Hallelujah! Thank YOU JESUS! But that also later then caused chronic nerve pain and 5 years of issues for me and caused me to have to resign from my position in Physical Therapy.
Yet again, God is so good! He knows my heart & my desire to help people. I was feeling so down and not feeling very pretty with myself since I had lost ALL of my girlie parts at that point & was calling myself “KARL” instead of Karli. So, my dear friend Dani had researched companies because I shared with her my new found wisdom regarding PARABENS (cancer causing agents that can be used as filler in other beauty products) & how 26 seconds was all that it took for the toxins from our skincare & health & beauty products to enter our bloodstream.
I didn’t know where to begin, because it seemed like EVERYTHING I was using was killing me! She found this new company named Younique, which had been self-founded by a brother & sister duo & he had just survived cancer himself. He was inspired & had seen the effects that chemo had on the ladies & created this amazing 3D Fiber lash mascara for their lashes to look full again & to feel pretty without PARABENS & toxins. It also was created to help their other Sister to have an income so that she could stay home with her children and still contribute to the family and feel uplifted, empowered & validated.
This duo wanted a MISSION based company with a way to support women who had been sexually abused in their adolescence & wanted to provide a free of charge (through donations through each website product purchase, or via direct donation to the Younique Foundation (https://www.youniquefoundation.org/) weekend Retreat of healing (now called the Haven Retreat) as well as educating everyone on prevention of sexual abuse.
They have partnered up with DEFEND INNOCENCE (https://defendinnocence.org/) to provide useful tools and resources for bringing up those hard to talk about topics so that we can stop the statistics! 1 out of every 5 children will be sexually abused before they are 18 and 90% will know their perpetrator. Well ALL of these topics related to me, so I HAD to be a part of this to bring healing to others, so http://www.KarlisKickinLashes.com began in 2014.
Once I got my hands on the products I knew that God had led me to EXACTLY where I was supposed to be and that this was no coincidence. My team has flourished & I am now an International Team Leader of over 2,029 beautiful Glam Guild women (and some men). I specifically knew that for my Breast Cancer Warrior Sisters, I found Younique to help them with radiation burns to not be so painful.
Our Royalty Rose Water Toning Spritz is the most amazing anti-inflammatory to draw out the burn AND to help with the hot flashes that being 38 and being forced into menopause by Tamoxifen can bring. I feel ya ladies, I SO feel ya! Another huge tip, our Royalty Detoxifying Mask…use it on your ARMPITS…yes, your ARMPITS! Get those lymph nodes DETOXED! Especially if you are using deodorants that have aluminum (please say that you aren’t!!!!). I know that it can be intimidating to order something sight unseen from a website, well that’s the beauty of Younique.
ALL purchases are covered under a LOVE IT GUARANTEE. You can use it for up to 2 weeks & if you don’t absolutely love it, then you can return it for your money back or exchange it for as many times as you need until you’re happy! It’s not very often that you find that kind of customer support these days. It makes me proud that the company stands behind their product and wants to make sure that YOU are happy!!! YOU are most important! But I’m honored that it allows me to partner with beauties like Nadia & to get to support her organization to fundraise for additional free photography sessions for beautiful Warriors who are going through their own journeys! I will be donating my commissions directly to Nadiastrong.com for the month of June as my thanks for her support!!!!
So I’m still in my journey, I’m fighting my way back. I CHOOSE my joy day by day. I am so thankful for the friends & the blessings that I have in my life. God has gifted me with SO much, but I also know that BECAUSE of these gifts, I also am at a place in my life that I need to deal with the pain of my past & that each day is a gift & there’s no guarantee for tomorrow.
It’s ok to take care of YOU, to say NO, to establish healthy boundaries, to not pretend that all is perfect every day. But you also need to find JOY…find something to make you LAUGH every day, FIND the positive, be around those who are positive, find YOUR source of strength, inspiration, hope, faith, peace & comfort & hold tightly to those who make you feel good about yourself because YOU are incredible!!! We can all be perfectly imperfect together!!! Blessings always!