Part 1: The Strength Beneath the Pink
Part 2: Releasing Vanity
Part 3: Beneath the Beautiful
Part 4: The Red Savior
Part 5: Story of her life
For updates, follow her story on Facebook
Pink. Why do girls love pink. Some say it was a learned thing from picking berries for survival. Some say its been engrained in our brains since birth. We will never know. As little girls, you didn’t think of NEEDING pink. You loved pink. You loved pink sparkly shoes, pink flowers in your hair. Never in a million years, as just a girl, did you think you would have to one day, find strength beneath all that pink.
People always say, how come horrible things always happen to good people. It really is the truth. But why does breast cancer tend to happen to STRONG people. Haven’t you noticed, when people are diagnosed with breast cancer, they instantly start to rally.
It’s now Lyndsie’s turn to rally. She was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer (IDC) the beginning of July. She is a 31 year old, beautiful young woman, who is so much to so many people. She’s a daughter to her mom and dad. She called them Mommy and Daddy. They adore her. She is a part of them. They need her to be strong. She’s got an older sister. They are part of each other. They are bonded for life. She needs her to be strong. She now has two littles of her own to call her mommy, a daughter, Cambrie, 8months old and her first born son, Tobin, 2 years old. They need to hug her. They need her to kiss their boo-boos, they need to learn from her, they need her to be there. They need her to be strong. She is a loving wife to a husband whom adores her. He needs her to help him be the best dad possible. He needs her to be there every evening to kiss goodnight. He needs his best friend. He needs her to be strong.
This is not the first time Lyndsie has had to be strong. Growing up in Downers Grove, IL, Lyndsie went on to graduate in broadcast journalism, but ended up pursuing her love of baking, becoming a pastry chef. She met her husband, Jared, in college and after falling in love with him later in Boston, settled in the St. Louis area to be near her mom. When trying to get pregnant, her first try ended in an ectopic pregnancy and the fetus had to be removed. Her second pregnancy ended in miscarriage. During her third pregnancy, her baby’s heartbeat stopped. At that moment, her and Jared promised each other they would never give up their fight to have children. Two beautiful babies later, her struggles resulted in two miracles. Lyndsie told me, “Maybe it was then that we developed our tougher than nails never stop fighting for what you want attitude (which we didn’t know at the time but was gonna play into effect with cancer).”
I strongly believe God has a plan for all of us. There is a reason all the bad stuff happens to people who can handle it. I see it all the time, in my own immediate family, in my friends families and now with Lyndsie. There is a reason she and I met. When she contacted me to take photographs of her family prior to her loosing her hair through chemotherapy, I knew that was not enough. I knew in my gut I needed to do something for this young beautiful person to help her get through this. She needed something to cling to. What’s the best thing to cling to? Family. So Lyndsie, Jared and I have decided to document her story. I will be joining her for some of the milestones. We pray this will bring awareness to anyone reading this, as well as a good happy distraction for Lyndsie :). Again, I can’t explain it. I feel like she and I were always supposed to meet. While I write this, I have a strange floaty feeling all over me. I’m content. I know what we are doing is the right thing to do. So thank you Lyndsie for letting me in, and letting in the world to help keep you stay strong through what will be a journey you WILL look back on and say, “see, cancer told ya I’m stronger than you”.
The Strength Beneath the Pink
(Make sure your sound is on for the video below)
I will let Lyndsie tell her story about her cancer diagnosis:
“After Jareds grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer last year it made me start to think, hmm…, I wonder if I have any lumps. For a person who never really felt the need to check myself, that night I did, and low and behold found a lump. I went in to have it looked at they told me it was a benign cyst. A few months later I found another lump in the same breast and was told it was probably from breast feeding, had another ultra sound and was sent home being told it was probably a calcium deposit. A few months later I asked again for another exam, which I am forever grateful. My lump was growing in my eyes at a rapid pace and I was sent to a specialist. When they gave me my 3rd ultra sound at this point, and asked me how old I was, I knew I was in trouble. They then gave me a mammogram and that is where they saw the cancer. On the x-ray it looked like a billion crushed up rocks on the screen. That was the day my world was turned upside down. My legs went numb and I about passed out after I was told. It was so much to take in. My first thoughts weren’t even the cancer but my children. “I have a 7 month old and a 22 month old at home, and am 31 with no breast cancer history in my family. “This can’t be happening” was my exact thought. My next thought was “omg, I am going to be the start of something horrible for my family line now. Poor Cambrie and the things she will now have to worry about and her children and their children and so on.” I was diagnoised with stage 3 invasive breast cancer. IDC to be exact. With testing it is believed to have spread a little into my lymphnoids under my right armpit. But they are not 100 % sure of this yet. Because they are swollen it is hard to tell if they are just inflamed or actually infected with the cancer cells. They will know when I have have my double mastectomy for sure. My plans from my doctors are chemotherapy first, double mastectomy and then radiation. I have been tested for the brca strain to see if I carry the cancer gene and am hopeful I do not carry it. If I do, there is a 50 % chance I could get ovarian cancer. SO we are in high spirits I am not a carrier. I just started my first treatment on Wednesday the 17th of July, and will have 12 weeks of this chemo. Then I will start a more harsher round of treatment after.”
This Sunday, Lyndsie will cut her hair as short as she can. When she start’s to loose it, she plans on shaving it. When I first met Lyndsie, she told me her hair is one of the things that makes her feel like a woman. She is right, she has some beautiful hair. She expressed to me during our time together, “Im about to be totally stripped of feeling like a woman. Everything that makes me feel like a woman will be gone.”
I’m starting to think PINK= WOMAN=STRENGTH
“I’m already looking into cute scarfs that will keep my new bald head warm! Any tips on how to make a cute wrap is welcome! I’m currently looking into the possibility of donating my hair to locks of love, or making it into a wig for myself. Although I am unsure I want to do this because I know that someone else would love to have my hair. It is really thick and beautiful and if I can make someone else feel as amazing as I do in it then I think it is worth passing it along and not keeping it all to myself! I keep telling myself, it will grow back right!?”
Isn’t she amazing? Make sure to come back and visit for “hair cutting day” next week. Also, if you are reading this and have any ideas on scarfs, or ideas for her hair, please feel free to comment on this post. She will be reading all of your comments 🙂
Something happened at our shoot. Call it what you want, but Lyndsie and I have decided these are both signs from God. I have never, in my career, encountered a rainbow at a shoot, ESPECIALLY a rainbow when there was NO rain. Magic? No way. This was all God.
This shot was taken at sunset. This image is right out of my camera. All I did was sharpen it. You can even still see the bugs that were around us, the WHOLE shoot 🙂 Angels are shining down on this pretty lady!
After her first chemotherapy session just yesterday, she text me ” Im’ glowing! 🙂 Radiating! My innerds are toxic! May be a good day to sit outside and let the mosquitoes eat me! hahaha” For real! Love this girl!!!!!!!
Lyndsie has a song in her heart and is taking this fight head on. The fire and strength in this woman are unreal. They fill her soul with the ability to feel some control in this horribly awful and unfair disease. Her repertoire is only filled with thoughts and ideas that will lift her up. Surrounding herself with people that love her. Lord, keep her strong. Keep her in this for everyone who loves her. Someday, she will look back on all of the struggles she endured and moments she had to go through to get to where she WILL be. But not yet. Right now, Lyndsie will do all that she can, for the love of her family and children, to stay strong.
Ultimately, she is the incredible strength beneath all this pink.
Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Part 2: Releasing Vanity
Part 3: Beneath the Beautiful
Emily Lucarz is a family photographer in St. Louis, MO. She specializes in newborn, baby, child, senior and family photography. She also teaches online and in-person beginner photography workshops and is the creator of the Dream in Color/BW and Enchantment photoshop action sets.
St. Louis newborn – child- family photography
Emily Lucarz Photography specializes in newborn, child, baby, maternity, family and senior photography in Saint Louis, Missouri and surrounding areas. St. Louis newborn photographer.