My name is Charlene Kimmel and I am not only the founder of Battle Boutique, but I am a stage 3c breast cancer, battle tested, survivor.
In January of 2014, I found a small lump in my right breast. A mammogram and sonogram were completed and both results came back negative for anything looking suspicious.
The lump would continue to grow throughout the year and I eventually developed a red spot on my skin, directly over the lump. In May of 2015, I would once again find myself in the office of my OB/GYN searching for answers. Once again, sonograms and even a 3-D mammogram did not show any concerns. I knew something was not right. Feeling alone and confused, I was left with no guidance or resolution.
Not sure what else to do or who else to talk to, I decided to visit a plastic surgeon. I had hopes that maybe my concerns were with breast implants from an augmentation I had completed when I was 27 years old. Upon the initial consultation and review of my medical records, the plastic surgeon inspected the red markings on my skin. He stated that he could not do anything until I visited with a dermatologist to perform a punch biopsy.
I received a call from my dermatologist on January 21, 2016. She said, "It's not skin cancer, but it is breast cancer."
At the age of 38, I was in complete shock, which I am certain is the case with most newly diagnosed cancer patients. This diagnosis is what triggered my desire to offer something new to the cancer patient community, and I truly believe that God gave me the name Battle Boutique, based off of Ephesians 6:16-17.
"In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." Ephesians 6:16-17 (NIV)