The magnitude of being a breast cancer survivor occurred for the first time in the first week of October 2011 for Dee Dee Ricks when she was giving a speech at Johnson & Johnson. This was quite an experience for Dee Dee. Up until this point in time, having been diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 and continued her treatments through 2009, Dee Dee considered herself still to be a patient.
Now she was past the point of being a patient and had to deal with the magnitude of being a survivor for the first time. This was huge! Four years have passed since Dee Dee was diagnosed with breast cancer and soon she will reach that five year “milestone.”
How has life been for Dee Dee since the cameras stopped filming a year ago? She is happy with the woman she has become and has continued to evolve since the last footage was shot. I have heard from several women who felt breast cancer was a gift. I can’t understand that but I think Dee Dee can. Breast cancer changed her life in every way and so did seeing herself on film! At the end of the documentary when Dee Dee and her sons move was just the beginning of her transformation.
As we saw in her documentary Dee Dee works best when she piles everything on. The economy changed for all of us but it was a double hit for Dee Dee who had to endure the economic crisis while undergoing treatment for breast cancer. Dee Dee came out on top, a stronger woman and closer to her young sons. Her new home is cozy, filled with love and her sons are quite happy and doing well.
While the old Dee Dee was obsessed with clothes, Dee Dee is focused on rebuilding a financial future for her family to provide security but realizes money can’t buy health and love. Her new and improved career is on her list of responsibilities after her sons. Making the time to give back in the fight against breast cancer to those who are less fortunate is still a mission for Dee Dee.
Dee Dee came out learning breast cancer is not a death sentence. She could not have done it without the support of her very good friends and the men in her life. Oh yes, Dee Dee is proud to be a New Yorker! Yes, it is tough being a woman!
Come back tomorrow for more my interview with Dee Dee Ricks.