March On January 27th of this year, I was diagnosed with breast cancer in both of my breasts. After 35 mammograms throughout my life, I was called back for the first time. It was a surprise, yet not a surprise because breast cancer runs deep in my family. My maternal grandfather, my maternal aunt, and my sister all had breast cancer. Genetic testing confirmed I have the BRCA2 gene mutation which increases the risk of developing breast cancer.
My first thought was, “how will I be able to continue my profession as a chocolatier?” The work is very physical. I need the strength in my arms, chest, and back. As the owner of the business, I have made commitments to employees, customers, vendors, and lenders. I needed help! First, I needed to complete the work of Valentine's Day. I was a bit distracted but Valentine's Day went okay. My surgery was on February 19th. After every Valentine's Day, there is an immediate down in business during Lent (you know the time of year when everyone gives up chocolate!).
I knew I needed help, so I turned to the Hope Chest for Breast Cancer Foundation. Financial assistance from Hope Chest pays for immediate expenses in record time. I applied for a grant to cover my house payment and a direct payment was made to my mortgage company within just a few days. Thank goodness!
It can be difficult to ask for help, but I am very happy that the Hope Chest was there for me. I know it needs to be there for others. That's why I want to support others walking similar paths and give back to the Hope Chest. With that, I will be creating a joint promotion of breast cancer themed chocolates.
This theme is “Hope Chest Chocolate Box” where a box full of sixteen decadent chocolates with a beautiful pink ribbon design on top will be available to order at https://chocolatceleste.com/collections/hope-chest-for-breast-cancer-chocolates/products/limited-edition-hope-chest-for-breast-cancer-collection
These delicious chocolates are $75 a box, 25 dollars of the proceeds go to Hope Chest to help others. It’s my way of paying it forward and knowing that others are being taken care of like I was. Please join this initiative of supporting a small business owner, while also supporting a wonderful organization that stands by their word and takes care of local breast cancer patients during the trying times.
Time has marched ahead to the time I need to have treatment. Treatment was delayed because of the COVID-19 stay at home order. On Good Friday I was informed I needed chemotherapy. The cells of one of the tumors are fast-growing. The port will be installed on Thursday, April 14th. The first chemotherapy will be on Thursday, April 21. There will be 20 weeks of therapy.
Whew! Santa’s Artisan Chocolate Shop is closed for the holidays. 🎄
Closed for some well-deserved rest. Catch you in the New Year!