How to Support Someone with Breast Cancer with Jade Kendle

If someone you love or care for has been diagnosed with a life threatening illness, like breast cancer, and you are now thrown into a new role to help support them as they fight to survive, it can be overwhelming.  It is not an easy task, by any means. And it’s a learning process. But if you’re like most people, you want to do the best you can to help your loved one through this journey. You’ll need knowledge, patience, resources and support of your own.   It can also be helpful to connect with others who have gone through or are going through similar experiences with breast cancer.

About Jade

Jade Kendle also known as “LipsticknCurls” is a Beauty & Lifestyle Content Creator based in Portland, OR. As a lover of all things beauty, Jade’s tips and tutorials have attracted an audience of over half a million followers and over 16.5+ million views. Her passion for creating high quality content has brought campaign partnerships with brands such as Herbal Essences, Covergirl, Carol’s Daughter, PopSugar, and a lead role in a Colgate Optic White TV commercial in 2016. Jade received both a Bachelor of Science in Development and Family Studies and a Master of Education in Education Policy and Leadership with a focus in Higher Education while building her LipsticknCurls persona. In graduate school, Jade hosted a nationwide event tour called “Curls Over Brunch” in which over 300+ women attended in various cities for networking and fellowship . Whether she’s showing you how to achieve perfect curls or giving advice to her viewers about life, Jade’s goal is to help others #SLAY their way through self-discovery and self-love.


Adam:  00:00 If someone you love or care for has been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness like breast cancer and you’re now thrown into a new role to help support them as they fight to survive, it can be overwhelming. It’s not an easy task by any means and it’s a learning process. But if you’re like most people, you want to help and do the best you can for your loved ones through their journey. You’ll need knowledge, patience, resources, and support of your own. It can also be helpful to connect with others who have gone through or are going through similar experiences with breast cancer. Today I have the pleasure and honor of talking with Jade Kendall. Jade, welcome to the show.

Jade:  00:37 Hi, how’s it going?

Adam:  00:38 Fantastic. Jade tell us a little bit about yourself.

Jade:  00:41 Yeah, so my name is Jade Kendall. I am also known as lipstick and curls on YouTube and Instagram. Pretty much all over the internet. is my website and essentially I create content in beauty, lifestyle, and motherhood space. So I, I create my own content organically. And then I also do different privates of brands. And you know, the whole influencer thing, I guess you could call me an influencer.

Adam:  01:10 That’s fantastic. And I was looking at your Instagram, the lipstick and curls seems very appropriate and your, your little baby is real cute. So that’s it.

Jade:  01:21 Yeah, my little girl, I’m obsessed with her.

Adam:  01:24 Well she seems fantastic. So Jade, I know you’re connected with Susan G Komen and the know your girl’s campaign. Can you just tell us a little bit more about that?

Jade:  01:31 Yeah. So Know Your Girls is a campaign specifically speaking to black women. The conversation of cancer and especially breast cancer can be very taboo in our community and so Know Your Girls and At council is trying to bring about more awareness and just more of a comfortable and safe conversation about breast health because black women are passing away from breast cancer or cancer at a far higher rate than white women. It’s about 40% higher for them. So having those conversations about breast health and just taking care of our bodies in general is super important. And something that is a goal of the Know Your Girls campaign and myself to bring about those conversations and see some real change in the future.

Adam:  02:26 That’s fantastic. I love that you’re doing that work. It’s really, really important work and I really appreciate your effort in doing that. So your mother is a breast cancer survivor who is fortunately free of the disease. Tell us a little bit about how the two of you navigated that experience together. How did you support her through her battle with breast cancer?

Jade:  02:45 Yeah, so my mother was actually in the air force and she was coming towards the end of her career and she visited a doctor that essentially misdiagnosed her. And so right when she left the military and went and saw a civilian doctor two years later they found that she had cancerous lumps in her breasts. And so it was the same mass that they, that she basically had looked at two years prior but in that time, cancer was growing in her. So by the time she finally was seen, the cancer progressed incredibly. She had a very aggressive form of cancer and so she had to have treatment really quickly. So during that time, I was actually in college about four hours away. And so my mom being, you know, the super-strong woman that she is really tried her best to not let us see her look sick.

03:46  You know, we knew what was going on. We were very, you know, aware of her chemo treatments and things like that. But she did not want us to worry about her. So it wasn’t until honestly a couple of years after the whole treatment process for her that we really started connecting on what it was really like because since we were far away and my twin sister and I, and she had a community of friends because on top of that she had just been divorced like six months before. So she was in kind of a crazy place in her life cause she was leaving the military. She just had a divorce. And then now, you know, breast cancer hits and it’s not an easy, you know, battle. It’s, a hard one. And so her community of friends really stepped up and were her circle, like they took her to chemo treatments, they donated their PTO.

04:41  They came through in so many ways and so I was actually more removed during my mother’s cancer experience, but it was incredible to see the community that surrounded her because now, you know, that’s led to her own nonprofit helping women with cancer. So it was a very interesting experience because I think that a lot of people think that you can only experience someone you love having cancer and only support them from being right there at their bedside. It’s also interesting now that I was back that, you know, thinking again, everything happens for a reason. And if I had been at my mother’s bedside at being 20 years old, not really knowing how to even support someone who’s going through cancer, if I had tried to be that person, it would have disrupted my mother’s own path. So I tell people if you feel the drive to be involved in someone’s cancer journey, very directly do that.

 05:43  But if there’s some reason why you can’t be right there. And again, a lot of us have aunts, uncles, people we love, but maybe they’re not right where we are. How do we still support from a distance, you know, calling them, talking to them about other things outside of cancer because they’re still the person that, you know, so cancer is not who they are. It’s what’s happened to them. There’s still the same person. And that’s something that my mom talks about so much cause she’s always like, you know, cancer isn’t who I am. It’s something that happened to me and I’m past it. It’s, not something that we can try to, just make her stronger. And so it’s an interesting and awesome experience to have with my mom because it’s like I’m supporting her even after, and it’s exactly the way it should have been, you know?

Adam:  06:36 Right. Wow. So, so I have two thoughts from that. Number one, your mom sounds like superwoman, so that’s just amazing.

Jade:  06:41 She’s amazing. She’s awesome.

Adam:  06:44 And yeah, number two, I love that idea. Cancer is not who you are, it’s just something you’re dealing with. I love that. That’s, that’s beautiful. Talk a little more about how your mother’s diagnosis and treatment affect how you’re currently thinking about breast cancer in your own health.

Jade:  07:00 So it’s definitely put a fire and you know, updated my priority list of things to do and check, check on as an adult, honestly, because I have cancer on both sides of my family. So I always kinda knew that it may be something that I, you know, come in contact with myself or my sisters or somebody because everyone essentially, these days are really touched by cancer. So in some sort of way. So I was always, pretty aware. But when my mom got diagnosed and went through her treatment, you know, it was, it was eye-opening. I mean, it was like I had never really seen my mother’s sick ever. Not even with a cold. I mean the most maybe a hangover, cause my mom is a partier. Outside of that, you know, she’s a social butterfly. But outside of that, I never saw my mom hurt or experience pain. And I get to see that of how to be a strong woman like that.

Adam:  08:04 That’s fantastic. So so last question here. What advice do you have for someone who might not know much about their breast health right now and wants to get to know their girls?

Jade:  08:15 So it’s as easy as just going into the bathroom, looking in the mirror and checking yourself out. And what’s important is, is even if you don’t see anything now that’s amazing, but you want to have that memory to know if something does change, that you are able to have a metric, you know? And so that’s the one thing for me. I didn’t grow up feeling super comfortable with my body and like looking at things. And so you have to get over that. If you are one of those people that just feels awkward looking at themselves, you got to get over that. Your health and your life really could depend on it. And I think about that every time, I think about my mom and how she said the only reason why she realized that the lumps had gotten larger was because she felt them in her armpit.

09:05  So yeah, you don’t think about that. It could be you or you don’t think about that. Something like that could happen. But neither did my mom, my mom is super healthy, you know, never had a huge health scare or issue in her lifetime. So I think about her story a lot. If it only takes me two seconds to just do a quick scan of everything that I’ve got going on and if there’s ever anything that looks off, a lot of us don’t like going to the doctor. We don’t like talking about anything wrong. We want everything to be okay. And that’s just, it’s naive to the point that it could be detrimental and you just don’t want to be that way. And so for me, I talk about my breast health with my friends, with my sisters, with my mom, just because I know that’s an easy thing to do. That could really save your life one day.

Adam:  09:54 That’s great. That’s great. That’s really, really good advice. And I loved the way that you put that, how you just, you’ve gotta be willing to get over that sort of uncomfortableness of it and really know yourself because you’re the only one that will, you’re the only one that will know yourself and you’re the only one that can tell when something’s off. So that’s great. Well, this has been fantastic.

Jade:  10:14 Thank you so much for having me.

Adam:  10:16 All right, well, thanks so much.


Intro and outro music is City Sunshine by Kevin MacLeod.  Ad music is Blue Skies by Silent Partner.  The Real Pink podcast is hosted by Adam Walker, produced by Shannon Evanchec and owned by Susan G. Komen.