When my super talented Soror, Tricia Messeroux- Curwin, asked me to join the ranks as one of her “Pink Pride” models, I was completely honored and humbled. Trish the Dish (a nickname some of my chapter Sorors and I like to call her) is the Founder, Creative Director and Senior Photographer at Toddlewood. Using Toddlewood to express her creativity as well as her love for fashion and children, she transforms everyday kids into superstar celebrities, iconic figures and historic legends…all captured in breathtaking photographs. Her brainchild has been featured in various media outlets such as Access Hollywood, Huffington Post, NY Daily News and The View, just to name a few. From her crazy ambition to her fiery spirit, she has been a woman I’ve looked up to for over 10 years. Although we worked together in the past ( me as the wardrobe stylist on set and she as the principal photographer), this time I was going to be IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA- with zero breasts and a 5 oclock shadow for hair. The morning of the shoot, I felt butterflies and began questioning if I should even go through with it.
You see, I had just underwent my bilateral mastectomy no more than 2 weeks before. I still had difficulty breathing and had little to no range of motion in both of my arms. Normally, I’m very confident with the way I look and carry myself but honey, today was not that day. How could I be the star of the”Pink Pride” photoshoot when I was the total opposite of “proud”?? I missed my breasts. I missed feeling good about myself. I missed not having what seems like an endless supply of hospital bills. I just missed my life before this dumb a**, stupid a** cancer. I wanted to call Tricia and cancel so badly…….. BUT GOD…… My loving boyfriend convinced me that doing the shoot might actually make me feel better. He reminded me that this was my #JesusYear and that I had a TESTimony to deliver after all this was said and done. After cracking jokes that forced me to laugh when I was feeling THEE worst, I got in an uber and made my way to Tricia’s photo studio.
As soon as I arrived, this mood I was in began to change. Tricia’s excitement to shoot lil ole De, rubbbed off and gave me some energy. She expressed that all of her “Pink Pride” models gave her strength to know SHE can conquer anything that may come her way- and with a smile. She said she loved me for that. I felt good knowing this accomplished woman I’ve looked up to for over a decade saw beauty in me that was an inspiration to her. After hair (ha!) and makeup, I jumped on set, threw on those pink boxing gloves and began to fight thru the pain(physical, mental AND emotional). I was pleasantly surprised when 2 more of my Sorors (Christina and Linda) showed up and surprised me with love, support and a bottle of wine *wink* They cheered me on from the sidelines as Tricia worked her magic that made me feel sexy and confident…yes ladies and gentleman, D-Nice was back in action!!
It is true, it really does take a village to get thru a cancer diagnosis. On this particular day it was my boyfriend, and Sorors but I would be remiss if I didnt acknowledge the community of people around me that would not let me fight this cancer alone. Family, friends, coworkers, and even complete strangers have greatly assisted me on this tumultuous journey. God has blessed me with these earth angels whom I am forever grateful for. That ” little extra love” has gone a long way…and has bought me to this beautiful place called REMISSION.
So for this particular day, I’ll like to thank my village- my Sorors and my Baby. I am blessed to have you in my life, in my fight to #SlayCancer
Make sure you guys check out www.toddlewood.com. Its the brand you don’t want to miss. Oh, please know my “Fight like a Girl” pic is a behind the scenes photo taken from a cellphone NOT behind the lines of the toddlewood camera!!