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Diagnosed at 29, woman battling stage IV breast cancer counts her blessings

“Finally, even with the cancer, I can’t say I’ve always love myself. I don’t know if I loved myself before, but I love myself now,” said Candice. (KTUL)

How would you title the story of your life?

It’s an odd question, but one that Candice Nyun began to ponder when she got a life-changing phone call at age 29.

“The nurse navigator called me and she said, are you sitting down?” said Candice.

The diagnosis, the lump she found on her breast was cancer. It had invaded her lungs, lymph nodes and liver.

“It’s my reality, but it’s almost like I take myself to another place to deal with it,” said Candice.

At 31, her life is filled with never-ending cancer treatments and doctors' appointments. There’s no cure for her cancer, only treatments to keep it at bay.

“Now, I’m just making it like my lifestyle,” said Candice. “Breast cancer -- unknown. What am I doing tomorrow -- unknown.”

But somewhere along the way, that gut-wrenching phone call about her cancer became a wakeup call for her life.

“Finally, even with the cancer, I can’t say I’ve always loved myself. I don’t know if I loved myself before, but I love myself now,” said Candice.

It's a love that extends to more women who look like her and are fighting cancer battles of their own. Candice started a charity called “Young Black Survivors.”

“I just decided to work towards fixing it,” said Candice.

She now lives a life filled with laughter and dance.

“I just finally got the climb, finally built up the strength,” said Candice, at dance class.

She said cancer has opened her eyes in more ways than one.

“I never saw butterflies before,” said Candice. “I love butterflies, I’ve got a tattoo of a butterfly. I love them.”

Most of all, Candice has chosen to live life to its fullest, as long as she has a breath.

“So live, just live. It’s a change to live for me. A sentence I guess I’ve given myself,” said Candice.

As for the title she’s chosen for her story, “My Life Sentence.” Every day is a new chapter.

Channel 8 just learned some tough news about Candice. The cancer has spread to her brain. But the reason she wants to share her story is to help more African American women get tested early. She said don’t worry about insurance because there are programs out there to help pay for treatment and testing. She said she’ll fight for women while she’s fighting for her life.

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