STORY OF HOPE: Nicole Matchain
Breast cancer survivor Nicole Matchain has been a PartyLite Consultant since 1998, is a Unit Leader in the Infinity Region and lives in Schererville, Indiana. She shares her story during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Thank you, Tammy Mormann, for having me share my journey. My hope is that a lot of you will be find a connection and know that we are all in this journey called life together.
Back in 1998, I attended my first PartyLite Party! I booked my own Party and saw a ray of hope for me and my family by exploring the PartyLite opportunity! You see, I was a young 26-year-old, newly married only a few years, with twin 2-year-old boys and working full time as a Radiologic Technologist (x-ray tech). I wanted so bad to be home with Samuel and Daniel raising them, but we weren’t financially in a position for me to do that, as we were both just starting out in our careers.
Obviously, I started PartyLite!
Well, I was sooo excited all of the time and a bit nervous because, at the time, I was pretty quiet and shy, and seeing all these successful Leaders just freaked me out a little, but ignited a fire in me that I had never experienced before. So of course, I set my sights on learning and trying almost most everything I learned. Not long after, I promoted to Unit Leader and I earned my first trip to Atlantis in the Bahamas.
Now, four months pregnant with my third child, Bianca, Sly and I had no idea what we were in for, earning that trip! Never in our life had we experienced such royal treatment and had so much fun! I remember hanging out in the casino with THE Tammy Mormann and her husband … Whoa! Not to mention all the other awesome people that I would be secretly watching because I wanted to be successful like them.
Well, of course my husband says, “don’t you miss any of these trips. This whole experience has been pretty cool and I’m proud of you.” Sly has always been so encouraging to me. In fact, he was the one that said to try PartyLite while I hesitated a bit, and he was the one that said, “Go check it out” when I talked about attending my first Conference in Washington, D.C.
“The boys and I can manage,” he said. Thanks to those two nudges he gave me, our lives were forever changed for the positive!
Well, I went on to earn lots more trips and created so many memories with so many great people. I attended every Conference and I began to think, ‘yes, yes I can do this and I think I can step it up. I set my sights on moving up the ranks of Leadership and ultimately reaching RVP!
Yup, that was the plan.
Moving along, I promoted a few Units and was learning how to develop Leaders. I still had some learning to do, but I was willing to try.
Well, isn’t it funny how sometimes life has different plans for you than how you set them out.
Fast forward to January 2011 … My three very active kids, my boys, 14, and Bianca, 10, a very full calendar, so ready and on-the-ball to earn the incentive trip to Aruba and continue to build strong. Well, a simple routine well check visit changed my life in an instant.
A lump was found in my right breast. WHAAAAT????? No way – it’s gotta be a big cyst or something. I’m 38 and I don’t have any risk factors that would put me in this position! As the testing continued, things weren’t looking like it was a cyst – it was an aggressive infiltrating cancer that needed to come out right away. WHAAAAT, OMG – my life is too busy for this. This seriously cannot be happening to me … Ok, I want to live – what do I need to do?
A double mastectomy, four months of chemo, a couple medical mishaps and a two-part reconstruction surgery to put me back together again … There I was, a hot mess! Surviving cancer and everything that comes with that took a front seat in my life for as much as I didn’t want it to. I was forced to slow down by my body, forced to reflect by my mind and heart. I didn’t know how to deal with it all and it became overwhelming, very overwhelming, and the feelings of hopelessness were trying to take over. It was a constant battle.
Everyone tried to be so helpful in so many ways, but the reality was I had to do the work to get myself better because I wasn’t gonna take any other way.
In the meantime, cancer made me miss the Aruba trip, cancer made me miss Conference for the first time, cancer had me doing minimal activity because I just wasn’t mentally or physical strong enough to run at the pace I was used to in my business. The same thing happened at home. It was very humbling to me for people to be doing what I considered MY job at home with MY family. I was not happy, bitter and mad, in fact.
Slowly by my will to not give up and give in, I finally decided to just ACCEPT all of this (with the help of a therapist). I was able to move on to a stronger, healthier me. See, I was fighting to keep control and I was losing. So I stopped trying to control things my way and accept what was and go with the flow.
It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.
So now we are at July 2012, I am off to Conference in Minneapolis!!!
Yay! Feeling stronger ready to get back on track! Then boom, another reminder of cancer! I received my badge, and this was the first time EVER I had not one ribbon! I was seriously devastated (cause you know it’s all about the ribbon – lol), but, yes, it was another hurdle I had to overcome and accept, and frankly, I was sick of it. Tammy and Carol Turner were so very kind to let me have my pity party and gave me encouraging words and validated my feelings.
It was seriously time to move on, so I made new goals and was determined more than ever to take back what I knew I was capable of and wanted so badly in my heart. Again, no one could make it happen except me. So I got up, dusted myself off again and pushed forward. I had a renewed energy, belief and determination not to give up, and see this all through with no regrets and now having such a feeling of gratitude for another chance.
Here we are in 2015 back in Minneapolis and whoa, not only did I have a bunch of ribbons, I walked across stage for the first time with a big puffy ribbon in Personal Sales!! Yay!!
Thank you to my roommates for putting up with me and all my giddiness about my ribbons – love you guys!
I overcame and appreciated it more than ever!
So, my goal of RVP has not changed, life just redirected me, and honestly, looking back, I can see it as a blessing because I learned so much about myself in the process. I’m stronger, my family is stronger, I have amazing friendships and I try to pay it forward by sharing my experience and being there for those who are enduring what I once went through. So much has been learned and sometimes it takes a hard road with lots of bumps to figure out who you really are and make your dreams happen.
Our SRVP Tammy Mormann in the middle of my chaos said the most beautiful and encouraging thing to me. She said, “Your dream of RVP is not lost, it’s on hold, and I’m taking care of it for you”
Thank you for believing in me, Thank you to this team for always inspiring me.
Thank you, God, for putting PartyLite and these wonderful people in my path because my life would have been totally different. I know my kids would be totally different, now almost 19 and 15 in a few months. They understand the meaning of not giving up, dreaming in color, pursuing big, hairy audacious goals, being of service to others, and most of all, thankful.
I am now 43 and getting ready to celebrate my 20-year anniversary with Sly in September. PartyLite has been so many things for our family, and we are forever grateful for this incredible gift. I am part of something that makes me and my family very proud. No doubt, PartyLite is the place to be!
Since 1997, the PartyLite family of Consultants, Customers and employees has raised nearly $15 million for the American Cancer Society through personal donations, our Change the World™ program where everyone can “round up” their sales total to the nearest penny or up to $10, and through the sale of our GloStrong™ by PartyLite Scented Jar Candle where a portion of each sale is donated to the American Cancer Society. Thank you for participating and donating through any of these convenient methods.