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Since being diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma in May 2010 at the age of 31, Candice Moore, formerly of Clinton, has been on a journey that has brought her through some very tough times. But today, after two years of treatment and a lot of prayer and support, the now Garner resident is healthy and happy. She and her husband are about to celebrate the birth of a daughter at the end of this month.
Moore was diagnosed with the disease just one year after marrying Robert Moore. She underwent a lumpectomy to her left breast that was found to have stage 2A breast cancer. Fortunately cancer was not found in the lymp nodes. Following four months of treatments of chemotherapy and three months of radiation treatments, the couple feels extremely blessed to be having a baby.
“After being told by the doctors that we may never be able to have children after taking chemo, God has blessed us with this pregnancy, and we hope to see our little girl soon,” attestedMoore.
A 1997 graduate of Clinton High School,Moore is an active member of the Coharie Tribe and is currently employed within the environmental industry. She has a son, Joshua Brewington, who is 16 years old. Moore is a member and attends New Bethel Baptist Church in Clinton. After Candice began her cancer journey, her husband of one and half years found the saving grace of Christ Jesus which, she said, was a blessing for them both as they journeyed together.
“This journey has brought about a closer relationship with Christ Jesus in me after accepting him at the age of 9. When Robert accepted Christ, we were able to walk together in our journey to fight this disease,” cited Moore.
She was raised in the Kitty Fork community, and once she was diagnosed with breast cancer, she became determined to defeat it. Throughout her journey, as she likes to refer to her fight, Moore has been a champion to help others diagnosed with the disease.
The Clinton High School Class of 1997 held a fundraising event, Candice Fight for a Cure, in August 2010. Candice has also participated in the 2011 and 2012 Susan Komen Race for the Cure in Raleigh.
“I have been so blessed by God with a great pregnancy of a baby girl, due in October…after being told that if I took chemo that my husband and I may never be able to have children. I have also been so blessed by the love of many friends and family through this journey,” expressed Moore.
It has been, by all accounts, a long one.
Moore discovered a lump under her arm in 2010, and so she began her journey.
“I felt a lump that was not normally there,” said Moore. “At first, I thought that it was a swollen lymph node, since I had come down with a cold earlier in the year. However, after seeing that the lump was not going away, Robert, asked me to have it looked at by a doctor.”
Her physicians were not certain initially about what the lump might be, thinking it might be a cyst, so they ordered a biopsy. The results showed that it was not a lump but the beginnings of breast cancer. It was a diagnosis that was difficult for someone so young to take.
“All I could think was ‘what do I do now? What is next. Lord, help me,” stressed Moore.
Following her diagnosis, life for Candice was forever changed. She began a long list of experiences that seemed to overtake her life as she began what seemed to be an unending journey filled with doctors appointments, medicine, prayer and more support than one person could have imagined.
As a part of her journey, Candice started her own version of a blog, sending out email updates on her condition to all those who had expressed care and concern.
“Throughout my journey, I sent emails to my family and friends about my cancer journey as a way to avoid the dreaded questions that everyone ask over and over again. Somehow, the Lord turned it into something completely different and it was a tool for me to share my journey and provide a glimpse of me to my loved ones,” explained Moore.
She began her e-mail on Thursday, Oct. 14, 2010, and it read: “Good Morning, Good Morning…Well, it’s a gloomy day in Garner, but my light on life and getting through chemo is getting brighter. I’m still praising the Lord and thanking Him for all He has done for me and my family! In my last update, I stated how my white blood cell count was low and it was a waiting game to get it back up. Well the week I was scheduled to have chemo, Robert and I couldn’t wait to get the results so I requested the labs be completed on Thursday…I did pretty well after the sixth treatment. The side effects of the chemo can be frustrating.”
Candice continues to support everyone else through her journey with her updates
“I wanted to make sure that everyone else was taken care of. It was also cathartic for me to write down my thoughts and feelings in my updates,” remarked Moore.
Following her seventh chemo treatment, she wrote in her update, “I’m on the other side of the mountain now …each day is a little better, a little brighter. The good news is that I only have ONE more treatment. My LAST chemo is scheduled for Oct. 22! Woo-Hoo!! I’m so happy and excited! I’ll be back to regular scheduled programming! I’m so ready to get back in the gym and into the office at work. I’m ready to experience life with 20/20 vision without a pair of sunglasses on. Knowing that treatments, medicines, body pain, silly side effects, etc. will soon be leaving…makes me so excited! Life will be just a little sweeter when it’s over. I realize I still have to go through radiation, but I don’t expect it to be difficult.”
After completing her chemotherapy treatment on Oct. 22, 2010, Candice shared how excited and happy she was to be through with that part of her journey.
“You talking about happy, I was happy folks!” bubbled Moore. “After talking with the doctor and getting all my final information and good news, I couldn’t help crying…crying tears of happiness, simply praising God on the inside,” added the survivor.
Candice continued to update family and friends with her emails. With her hair returning, she sent out this message: “I’m doing good…I’m getting a little peach fuzz on my head. I tell everyone that I look like a little baby duck. Ha ha ha! I want to let you all know that God has been so good to me. He’s given me every support system I needed during this time. This journey has been a blessing! I know that may sound crazy, you may be thinking Candy…you had cancer, and that’s a blessing? My answer is YES! It’s brought my extended family closer together, it’s brought my immediate (Robert, Joshua, and myself) closer together, it’s reunited old or broken friendships, it’s created new friendships, it’s given our family reason to praise Him, cry out to Him, simply draw closer to HIM! That’s what it’s all about anyways, right? It’s amazing to see how he works…just places things in order. I had no idea this journey would bear so much fruit…Wow!”
“On Jan. 14, I had my final consult with my oncologist. They will not deem my cancer in remission until I have gone five years without a recurrence of breast cancer. Too bad they don’t know what I know!!! Ha Ha!! God’s people get to laugh!” remarked Candice.
Moore has to go back for regular exams every four months for the next two years, then it goes to every six months.
“Once I hit the five-year mark, I’ll only need yearly exams. I have to go see my radiation oncologist next month for him to check skin of the radiation area. It really looks good and I don’t expect any problems at all,” shared Moore.
A year since Candice was diagnosed with breast cancer she stated that God has truly blessed her. “You know many times we are faced with obstacles and wonder how God worked it out. He’s so amazing, just awesome like that! He has the power to remove the obstacle all together or walk you through it. God chose to walk me through cancer,” cited Moore in her update.
Moore and her family participated in the 2012 Susan G. Komen: Race for the Cure. Their team name was, “Tribal Comfort.” “This race was particularly special because I attended the race five months pregnant with my second child. The doctor’s advised my husband and me prior to treatment that if I took the chemo there was a possibility that it would/could stop menstruation permanently. My husband and I have tried to get pregnant prior to my diagnoses to no success. So this was some very disappointing news, but we decided to move forward with the chemo. In January 2012, we decided to try again and we were pregnant within weeks. God has really blessed us again! Our little gift is expected to arrive Oct. 25, 2012…guess what? That’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month!
“Life as a breast cancer survivor is one that brings about the joys of life. Survivor = LIFE! That’s pretty exciting. You try to not take things too seriously. You learn to look to God for strength and help. I can look back over my journey and see the love of so many people and often wonder why me Lord. So many people fight this disease with far less support and love than I received. This journey creates a passion for people, but strength to fight battles because this disease doesn’t simply affect the patient,” asserted Moore.
Recently Candice returned to visit Adrienne Carter, (a-Style Photography/Graphic Designer/Stylist), for a follow up shoot of her Breast Cancer Awareness visual arts campaign, “Survivors of Strength.”
“This shoot is very special to me because it captures the beauty of life, and ongoing life through pregnancy. I’m a survivor who wants to encourage women to keep the faith, stay strong, and move forward with whatever God’s plan is for you individually. No two survivor stories will ever be the exact same. Adrienne’s photography depicts just that!” remarked Candice.