My first of my “bucket list” takes place on November 1st, 2014. I want to say “thank you” to everyone who has supported me on this journey. I could never have become who I am today if it wasn’t for the courage and inspiration that I gained from each of you that have shared your stories, provided words of encouragement, and for pushing me in times where I thought that maybe I should not be so open. I’ve come to peace with judgement. I am trying to conquer my fears, which includes at times the opinion of others. That is when I turned inside and hope that maybe just a piece of my story might give someone else the strength to persevere through the chaos of living.

Europa Photography, llc has followed my journey with images that I have been empowered by. I am so saddened that my figure competition will not be photographed by Kim, due to the strict guidelines of the event and professional photographers. If only I had just one connection that understood my journey and the importance of having Kim there, but big business has no room for compassion. I do not mean that with any disrespect, I understand the need for policies and procedures and the financial connection involved in it all. Kim, you will be there in my heart, and spirit because you taught me about beauty, and it is so different than what I ever imagined.

The people that I have met in the past few years and those that have gone have created and shaped who I became today, I thank you. Even to embrace the negative events that have occurred have only helped me grow and find a deeper understanding of who I am and who I have become. I would never change a thing.

My competition is 3 days away. I am still in denial as I think that this dream is going to come true. Stepping on the stage for the first time in 26 years will be so emotional. It has been a dream since my first diagnosis in August of 2011, but it was put on hold for my mastectomy and then the return, the chemotherapy, the radiation, and Saturday it becomes a reality. Cheryl Gonsalves NPC , and Bobby McCarthy, I could have never be where I am today if it wasn’t for the confidence, love and support that you both gave to me when I first had this crazy idea….bald, third degree burns, and fragile. You have no idea the platform that you gave me to BELIEVE. NPC here I come. Win or lose, I beat the odds and I will be representing every one struggling with the illness, those who have lost their fight and those who are cancer free today.

‘Til we meet again…

Monique Pichette MSN, RN