A cancer diagnosis can force you to redefine yourself, and that’s exactly what happened to one local military wife.
Kelsey Bucci keeps her family close to her heart. When she was diagnosed with breast cancer in August 2017, her four children were her first thought.
“I looked at Chris (Bucci’s husband) and I said ‘I don’t care what happens, but this does not change our children’s lives.’” Bucci said.
She says she brought her children with her on her journey. They shaved her head to show that though the diagnosis is scary, it doesn’t change who their mom is.
“I feel like they have come out of this so much better off,” Bucci said. “They have a sense of empathy that, at their age, I don’t think they would have gained anywhere else.”
The life-changing diagnosis forced Bucci to find herself.
“It really breaks you down to nothing, and I think it’s up to you to build yourself back up,” she said. “I always kind of thought that I developed my sense of self throughout being a military wife and mother.
“But really going through breast cancer made me reevaluate who I was, what made me happy, my passions.”
During her fifth or sixth round of chemotherapy, Bucci said her passion for creativity was renewed.
She focused on what made her happy and fulfilled — starting a styling business and learning more about beauty and self-care.
“Nothing really prioritizes your life like a health scare,” she said. “Mom has to come out.
She’s gotta be benched. You know, and I had to sit there. That was probably the hardest thing for me to not be a mom.”
Bucci said she struggled with not being able to be there fully for her children, relying on her husband for help.
But through her storm, she found her sunshine.
“They’re the strength and everything. They’re so funny, and they’re so wonderful. I don’t know what we would have done in this situation without them,” Bucci said of her kids.
Now, Bucci shares what she has learned with others.
She launched a podcast called ‘But You Don’t Look Sick’ which gives her a platform to tell her own story and highlight other cancer survivors and fighters.
Bucci’s beauty store, Paris Laundry, focuses on providing non-toxic beauty to women, aimed at those going through cancer treatments.
10 percent of all online orders are donated to organizations that support breast cancer research.