Nicole Bagley’s story of strength and courage is one we had to share! We have had the privilege of getting to know Nicole throughout this Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Her answers to our Q&A have truly inspired us! Women like Nicole are the reason we are donating our proceeds from the pink collection to Susan G. Komen Ozark. Our hope is that one day there will be a world without cancer and it is a memory of the past.
Q: Tell us a little about yourself and your battle with breast cancer.
Nicole: I was first diagnosed in March 2012 with stage III breast cancer at the age of 34. I had found my lump while doing a self-exam. My mom had been diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer at the age of 36 and passed away at age 40. Because of her illness, I was diligent about doing self-exams. I underwent four months of chemo, double Mastectomies, a hysterectomy because I carried the BRCA2 gene and also 6 1/2 weeks of radiation. 2012 was a long and hard year. Fast forward to 2016 and I was visiting my oncologist for my regular check-up appointment. My oncologist tests tumor markers and mine had tripled. This warranted further investigation with scans. It was then discovered my cancer had spread to my spine and left lung. I now have stage 4 breast cancer. I am currently receiving monthly injections and a daily oral chemo pill.
Q: What are your plans to celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month?
Nicole: I plan on volunteering with several organizations sharing my story and educating anyone who will listen. If my story helps other women to do self-exams and schedule mammograms, then I will tell it as much as I can.
Q: What was your favorite part of the night spent at the LJ headquarters for the photoshoot?
Nicole: My daughter and I loved it! It was so fun to be pampered by the hair and makeup artist! Dinner was great, picking out clothes was fun and just having lots of laughs with other survivors and their loved ones.
Q: How did you decide what LJ piece you were going to wear for the shoot?
Nicole: I was going for comfort and what fit the best. The LJ T-shirts are so soft! I love them!
Q: Tell me a little about who you brought with you to the photo shoot and why.
Nicole: I brought along my daughter, McKenna. She was 9 when I was first diagnosed and is 14 now. She loves Lauren James clothing and I thought it would be something fun for us to do together. She loved getting her hair and makeup done and she looked so beautiful! It was an awesome experience and I’m so glad for the opportunity to share it with her. Y’all spoiled us and I am so grateful!
Q: At LJ, our goal is to make women feel beautiful in our clothes. What do you recommend to women struggling to feel beautiful during their battle with breast cancer?
Nicole: While I was going through chemo it was hard to feel pretty. I still tried by wearing makeup and jewelry. Since it was summertime I wore scarves. I would find ways to tie them and clip a flower on the side to sass it up a bit. I also tried to dress comfortable but cute! Lauren James clothes are definitely both of those!
Q: Where are you now with your cancer journey?
Nicole: Right now I am just living life and making memories with my family. I have monthly injections and a daily chemo pill that I take to keep my cancer from growing. I have scans every four months to make sure that the cancer is still “sleeping”. Some days are bad but most days are good. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends making the most of life.
It has been an honor to collaborate with Nicole this October to spread awareness about Breast Cancer! To show your support for those impacted by breast cancer, shop our Pink Collection– 20% of the proceeds will be donated to our local Susan G. Komen affiliate!
Shop our Pink Collection here to help us donate to Komen Ozark.