One of the first lessons we learn as children is to be honest. I pride myself on my honesty and always being true to myself.
After working over 20 years in different facets of the beauty industry I decided about 5 years ago to return to school strictly for Esthetics. Even though I went to Cosmetology 20 years ago I wanted to learn the latest protocols and machines and was so excited to change my future.
After working as an Esthetician for about 3 years I was given the opportunity to open my own studio and I was delighted. Everything was finally happening.
My business was booming and my home life couldn’t of been better. Everything was perfect, maybe that should have been my first clue something was on the horizon.
Well it was that time again, that time most women hate. It was time for my mammogram.
That would be the last time I would be treated normal in a Dr. office for a long time.
My whole world changed in a matter of minutes
When a Dr. came back instead of a X-Ray technician and explained to me that I needed more tests and handed me a referral to a breast surgeon, I couldn’t even breathe.
After a few more tests I heard those dreaded words ‘You have cancer’ I never felt so alone, I cried uncontrollably. I was diagnosed with Stage Three breast cancer that had already spread to my lymph nodes.
It’s now 2 years later and I still can’t believe cancer came into my world at 47 it turned my world upside. I completed all my treatments of chemo, radiation, a full mastectomy and reconstruction a Hospital acquired infection that caused me 5 more surgeries and losing my implant. The infection caused an open wound that was almost 5 inches across my chest and needed intravenous antibiotics and nurses at my home 4 x’s a week..This was probably one of the worst experiences of it all. I thought I would be on the road to recovery but instead so many obstacles kept me from getting my life back. So why would I expect cancer to behave itself and stay in it’s lane ?
After everything I endured it was important for me to help others with this deadly disease.
I was an Esthetician and started researching Oncology Esthetics.I was pleased to see it was offered online.
I completed my Oncology training during my radiation treatments and was so proud I was now certified to help others.
I couldn’t wait to finally get back to work and doing what I loved, being an Esthetician.
Cancer was draining not only on your body but on your bank account.
So many are quick to say how strong we are and they could never handle what comes with cancer. Well truth is I didn’t plan on being sick at 47.
I did what I had to do to survive and I don’t want an achievement award for that.
I never thought in s industry like ours it would even be in question
An industry that is full of women. Women that should be empowering each other not holding them down these women don’t know if one day they will be the next statistic
Unfortunately having too many surgeries.caused mobility issues with my left arm so going back to being an Esthetician was looking bleak and it was time to write my resume.
I was proud to share my 20 years of expertise in the beauty industry
I was thinking a change would be exciting maybe a Spa manager and or trainer for new employees and writing menus, adding new treatments in a Spa and Social media basically everything I have done for myself for years.
I really never had a problem finding a job and didn’t think this time would be any different.
Now let’s get back to the honesty thing this is when my resume came into play I was confident and honest and shared that I wrote an article for a popular industry magazine. I attached it to my resume, being a published Esthetician was something I took pride in and shared the article happily.
I was very confident in my abilities and even went on a few interviews. But something was different.
The interviews didn’t revolve around my skills or my past experiences.
I was getting questions like, Do you still have a lot of Dr. Appointments ? or Are there still things you need to do for cancer? Will you be taking a lot of time off ?
I was beside myself. They were concerned, but the concern wasn’t for me and seeing all the great things I could bring to the table. It was about my past health issues and how it would affect my current work .I am currently trying to get my life back and don’t have any more Dr. appointments than anyone else but they treated me like I was contagious. Later that week I got an email stating they were looking for someone that could worked more hours even though that day they were willing to work with the hours we spoke about and said that hours weren’t an issue and I had agreed to be available for the hours that they shared in the job description.
Later that week a few more emails and one even called an hour before our interview to cancel for a Drs appointment she forgot about. She never rescheduled it. That was a new one for me, just complete unprofessionalism and I dodged a bullet there.
The same Spas that will advertise with pink ribbon’s in October and call me a warrior won’t even hire me because yes, I had breast cancer.
Maybe they shouldn’t of been so obvious in their line of questions because I doubt they
asked everyone they were interviewing If they were done with all their cancer stuff ?
I might of been upset at first but now. I know I wasn’t meant to be around such small minded people. I have always dreamt big.
I was lucky to have a lot of my dreams come true and it looks like I have a lot more dreams to bring to life.
I am strong because when someone tells me I can’t do something in life it makes me fight harder.
I just want everyone to remember not just in October but every month of the year.
It’s my turn to bring awareness to these Spa owners and management doing interviews
There is no room for this ugliness and prejudice in any field.
It’s a problem that needs to be fixed and educating people on this subject is one way to stop it.
Cancer isn’t easy and if you have someone in
front of you who is a survivor they have fought harder than you could imagine. A Spa owner should be honored this warrior is interested in working beside them.
They beat cancer and really are a miracle. They can accomplish anything they put their mind too.
Awesome article. I know some pretty amazing survivors myself!
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Thanks Mary, yes we are pretty resilient women or men..
Thank you for you kind reply regarding my post. I am in stage 3 B Cell Lymphoma. Very difficult but till going! Bless you!
Sending you love and prayers.
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