As I think about my journey in the past year, I would have never thought I would be competing in ten days. It hasn’t been a year yet since I have been in remission. I don’t want any test, any blood work, any opinions of my health right now because I need to be cancer free in my mind. My first battle started in August of 2011. Eighteen months later it was back. I must say, throughout my life I have always been good at beating the odds."Change your thoughts and it will change your world."

It is so hard to even put into words how I feel right now. As Cheryl Gonsalves NPC started to work with me and the daily training was delivered with the help of Bobby McCarthy, I’m almost there, almost. I have been watching videos of other figure competitors, I have been lifting daily, cardio as much as I can, and dreaming. Then comes the old recordings…”you’re not good enough, you’re not pretty enough, your not fit enough, you are just not enough”, but then I remember that was the me before chemotherapy.

Chemotherapy kills all cells, good, bad and indifferent. In my own healing mind it killed all my past scars, emotional turmoil, and guilt. I felt like I have been reborn. The only thing left was my soul. So as I get closer to putting my feet on the stage, I think of my journey, I think of my purpose, and I remind myself that this is a battle between me and cancer. No one knows how to beat that better than someone who has been there. The strength that comes from my soul to show me a beauty in a spiritual form. I will gain strength and confidence from within, from my story, from my experiences.

I often am caught saying that I have met such incredible people along the way. It is ironic how absolute strangers can see that passion, that energy that comes from life’s struggles. It is about being connected by a common denominator. “Pain”! We all have it. Of course it comes in a multitude of forms, but just as we breath, we hurt. The key is to take that hurt and recreate it’s form into a positive thought process. Exercise releases those positive endorphins and almost immediately, happiness returns. If you can collect those moments of happiness and tie them together, eventually the soul is cleansed.

I am conquering my illness; I am defeating it steadily each day.

Until next time,

Monique Pichette MSN, RN