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Nine Years Strong

My Journey as a Three-Time Cancer Survivor

Imagine being told you have cancer not once, but three times. If you had asked me 12 years ago if I would face this reality, I would have thought you were crazy. I was 39, healthy, feeling fine, and living life without a care in the world. The idea of being a member of the cancer survivors club was far from my mind. Yet, here I am, sharing my story on National Cancer Survivor's Day, a day that holds profound significance for me.

Kristina Lacson McConnico | Lacson RavelloMe at 9 years strong.

"Resilience isn’t about bouncing back to who you were—it’s about becoming someone new, someone stronger."

The Unexpected Diagnosis

Being told I had breast cancer the first time felt like an out-of-body experience. Suddenly, I was part of a sisterhood I never asked to join. It was July 2012, and my world momentarily stood still. One routine mammogram turned my life upside down. I went from planning my next family trip to planning my treatment schedule, from thinking about my design career path to thinking about my survival.

At first, I was in disbelief. Me? Cancer? But I’m healthy, I feel fine. The news was jarring, to say the least. I was suddenly thrust into a world of oncologists, radiation, chemotherapy, and a vocabulary I never wanted to learn.

The Roller Coaster of Treatment

The treatments were grueling. Each session drained not just my energy, but my spirit. As if battling cancer weren’t challenging enough, I was let go from my full-time design job following medical leave. It was a huge blow, not just financially but emotionally too. The frustration of wanting to work, to keep a semblance of normalcy, combined with losing my health insurance, was overwhelming.

When I recovered, I ended up working for another company that I found deeply unfulfilling. Balancing work with ongoing treatment was a Herculean task. There were days when I wondered if this was a sign to reevaluate my life. Every day felt like an uphill battle, but it was during these moments of struggle that I discovered a new depth of resilience within myself.

My usual view while getting treatment. A huge thanks to my medical team at UCSF Breast Care Center!

"We all face valleys of uncertainty, but it’s how we respond that defines us."

Finding Strength in Community and Creating

Amidst the chaos, I found solace in building something new—creating Lacson Ravello. At first, starting a business seemed like the last thing I should do, but somehow it also made perfect sense to create something of my own. Building a brand that stands for more than just fashion became a beacon of hope. It became a tribute to women's strength and grace. This journey wasn't just about selling clothes—it was about creating a community of support, of understanding, of shared strength.

It’s this business and the incredible community of women that keeps me going every single day. Your stories, your resilience, your support have been my anchor. Knowing that I am not alone, that there are others who understand and stand with me, has made all the difference.

Lessons Learned and Daily Practices

Cancer taught me to practice ease, to remove and avoid obstacles. It’s something I still work at every day. Life throws us curveballs, and it's easy to get caught up in the whirlwind. But I've learned to slow down, to take things one step at a time, and to find joy in the small victories.

Resilience isn’t about bouncing back to who you were—it’s about becoming someone new, someone stronger. Each challenge, each setback has taught me something valuable. I’ve learned to be kinder to myself, to listen to my body, and to appreciate the moments of peace amidst the storm.

The Ongoing Journey

Joining the incredible sisterhood of cancer survivors has been one of the most unexpected yet rewarding aspects of my journey. The road hasn't been easy, but overcoming challenges with grit and creativity has been my mantra. Nine years after my first diagnosis, I’m more resilient, more determined, and more grateful than ever. Every day is a gift, and I’ve learned to cherish it.

Regular check-ups and self-care are now integral parts of my life. They are my way of ensuring that I stay healthy and vigilant. Early detection saved my life, and I can’t stress enough the importance of taking care of yourself.

The Takeaway

Nine years strong, I look back on my journey with a mix of awe and gratitude. I’ve faced valleys of uncertainty, but these challenges have only strengthened my resolve to build a brand that stands for more than fashion—it’s a tribute to women’s strength and grace. We all face valleys of uncertainty, but it’s how we respond that defines us.

I want to leave you with this: sharing our journeys and supporting one another is vital. Our stories have the power to inspire and heal. So, tell me, what's one challenge you've faced that has shaped who you are today? Leave your comment below.

Related Reading:

How It All Started: The Journey of Lacson Ravello
I had cancer and you cured it!
Turning 50: 10 Things I've Learned

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