TQL Pinktober Ambassador Offers Light In Dark Situation
Spend a few moments with logistics coordinator Kandra D. and your spirits are instantly lifted.
Her lighthearted, charismatic demeanor is proof positive of her survivor attitude. One would never guess she was nervous about being named a TQL Pinktober Ambassador.
“I was a little apprehensive about it at first,” she said. “But if I can share my story and help someone else, it’s worth putting it out there.”
Kandra is eight years cancer-free. She says she owes her initial detection to happenstance – and her rambunctious four year old daughter.
“I normally used a loofa when I showered, but my daughter had taken it out of the tub that day and was playing with it,” she explained.
Kandra says using a washcloth instead of the loofa was a blessing in disguise. This led to her noticing a small, hard mass in her breast. Soon thereafter, she scheduled an appointment to get it checked out.
“I was so young when this happened to me that when I went to the doctor, at first they told me it wasn’t something I needed to worry about because of my age,” she said. “I was told it was probably a cyst and it would be alright.”
During the next couple of months, the pea-sized lump continued to grow in size.
Kandra says that even though no one in her family had ever had cancer, she couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong.
She persisted. “The doctors finally did a biopsy on the tissue and [the results] came back revealing a cancerous tumor.”
Kandra underwent three surgeries and says her recovery was long and arduous. She says she is thankful for the support she’s received from TQL.
“I’ve had quite a few surgeries since I’ve been at TQL and I’ve been on leave a couple of different times,” she said. “TQL has done nothing but work with me and I feel like my bosses are always there to support me.”
Corporate giving specialist Corey D. leads the TQL Cares program and says TQL strives to be supportive year round, but brings acute awareness to breast cancer research during Pinktober. “We want to use the month to celebrate the TQL survivors and fighters who are fighting or have fought breast cancer themselves.”
As for Kandra, her advice to someone who thinks it could never happen to them, “It can. Even though my cancer has been removed, I still check everything all of the time. And whenever someone is talking about something that sounds like it could be suspicious [as it pertains to their health] I tell them to check,” she said. “Just check. Because all of the odds were in my favor – no one in my family had ever had it, I was young, I was healthy, and there was no reason for me to get it. But anyone can.”