In Category: ‘Breast Cancer Awareness’

breast cancer ribbon 23675330 std 190x300 In Honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

‘Celebrate Survivors’ Photography Session Contest

As part of our quest to support women’s issues, Images by Kay & Co. Photography is excited to announce our sixth Annual Breast Cancer Survivors’ CelebrateSexy Photo Session Contest.

I am committed to supporting this cause and proud to be providing Arizona women a place to be photographed in a way that builds confidence about their bodies once again. The pampering that occurs during a CelebrateSexy photo session helps ease feelings of vulnerability. After surviving such a serious health challenge, women sometimes feel betrayed by their bodies. The beautiful photographs from the session help to bridge that gap, building peace and self-assurance.

Images by Kay & Co. Photography’s CelebrateSexy division will hold a contest during the month of October for cancer survivors. If you or any woman you know has been affected by cancer, please consider entering our contest to win a FREE CelebrateSexy Diva Photography Package. Entering the contest is easy, simply send us your story along with one or two photos of you and we will post the entries on our blog. Readers will choose the contest winner by voting for their favorite story. The winner will receive a Designer Diva Photography Package and treated to professional hair styling and makeup application during her CelebrateSexy session. The images in her album will be a wonderful reminder and celebration of her beauty. The value of the package is over $2,000 but past winners have shared their experience was priceless.

To enter the contest:

This contest is for any woman who has survived or is fighting cancer in any form.

Please email your story to with the subject line: SURVIVOR CONTEST. Send a picture of yourself and any other photos you would like to share. Your first name and images will be posted on our CelebrateSexy and Images by Kay & Co. Blog for readers to view and vote on. Feel free to nominate a deserving friend – just please ask their permission first and send us their contact information so that we can get their confirmation. We will be accepting entries until October 31, 2015.

Viewers can cast their votes through November 15th and the winner will be announced on November 30th.

Good luck and we look forward to hearing your amazing stories!


11018 N. 42nd Street      Phoenix, AZ   85028

Jen was our 2011 Celebrate Survivor contest winner and was a 3 Time Cancer Survivor when we photographed her. Sadly her cancer came back and she lost her battle in April of this year. We have many fond memories of Jen, and had so much fun photographing her Ultimate Diva celebrate Sexy Session. She will live on in the images we created and in spirit. Our hearts go out to Jen’s family and friends.


To Vote for Paulla Miller by emailing All you have to do to vote is put Paulla Miller in the subject line and click send!

My name is Paulla Miller and I found my first lump at 28 while nursing my second child.  I had just lost my grandmother to breast cancer, so my emotions were heightened but knew I needed to talk to my OBGYN that I had been seeing for a number of years prior.  She did an exam and explained that cancer didn’t hurt, I was too young to be of concern for cancer and that there wasn’t enough family history to support her sending me to get a mammogram.  I left the office very concerned and immediately called my primary care physician that gave me an order for my mammogram.  Upon my exam, I was gently told that it was a blocked milk duct and that it should be watched.  Fast forward seven years and the story quickly changed. Through those 7 years I would ask about the spot and I continued to here the same excuses.   The pain would come and go and the more athletic I became as a long distance runner, it was always justified to my bra not fitting, being athletic and active, until I began feeling very tired by the end of the day and experiencing numbness and tingling in my finger tips.  When I addressed this with the same OBGYN from 7 yrs prior, she did a breast exam, explaining to me the whole time that I was too young and cancer didn’t hurt, finishing with, “Honey, I don’t feel anything.  There is nothing there.”  I sat up with nothing but my ‘smock’ on, looked her in the eye and told her that she was crazy and that it was right here, pointing to my left chest.  Needless to say, she quickly agreed to a mammogram and an ultrasound, I was 35 years old.


At the time of my mammogram, the technician would ask questions, like, “How long have you felt this?”  “What did your doctor say?”  So I knew that something was wrong, not that my gut hadn’t been telling me that for quite a long time, but no one would listen.  I remember sitting in the waiting room in nothing but a ‘smock’ again and I could hear the technician and the radiologist down the hall talking about me, arguing over the fact that he didn’t want to tell me anything but she insisted he say something because I had been ignored or belittled for so long.  He came in broken; he wouldn’t look at me as he sat next to me.  “I am sorry, it doesn’t look good and we need you to have an MRI right away.  I will get this report to your physician and her office will help you get scheduled for an MRI because we don’t do them here.”  The technician stood with such concern in her eyes, I could tell that she wanted to say more, but couldn’t. I went back to my changing room to change and fell to the floor in submission to the Lord and cried and cried and cried some more.  When I finished and got up, I began to function on adrenaline, who did I know in the medical field, where are the kids, I have to call mom and dad, Chris (my husband) needs to know, but not too much, who do I call?  I ended up driving to a local hospital where my sister in law worked and it was by the grace of some friendly angels that became my advocates.  They called my doctor and got an order, they scheduled my MRI for that Monday, did I forget to mention that this all happened on the Friday before school started?  This would be the longest weekend of my life.


When Monday rolled around, my husband and I took both kids to the first day of school, 6th and 3rd grade, we drove to the hospital and that began our long day.  The MRI was running behind, I didn’t care, I was there.  The clanking and banging of that machine is never fun.  The time I spent in prayer was priceless though and was the only comfort while stuck in that tube.  We were going to be leaving and waiting for a call, but we were brought back, yet another angel because this never happens.  I sat in front of the screen with the doctor and I remember hearing, you have cancer and it is extensive.  The vision in my head will never go away as I stared at that screen and saw almost nothing but white in my breast and lymphnode area.  I had to get out of there and we went into the back hallway and prayed.  The look on my mother in laws face when I told her was so blank.  My brother was there and he took the burden of calling my parents, who were currently at chemotherapy for my father for treatment of Myelodysplastic Syndrome and blood disorder that typically develops into untreatable Leukemia.  The kids, the kids, how do we tell the kids?  Well there wasn’t any time to decide because I was quickly whisked upstairs to the Breast Center for a double biopsy.  There I was told that I had three large tumors in my left breast ranging from 2 cm to 5 cm and four large lymphnodes that were pinching the nerve in my arm causing the numbness.  They fit me in as the last patient of the day.  Twenty four hours later we got the call, “Triple Negative Infiltrated Ductal Carcinoma, Stage III.”  I was scheduled by the Navigator for a surgical consult the next day, Wednesday and a Medical Oncology consult on Thursday.  Here we go.  Both doctors agreed on the treatment plan without hardly talking to each other, neo-adjuvant chemotherapy for six months, double mastectomy and full lymphnode dissection, plus radiation.  I didn’t have to hear much more to add a hysterectomy and oopherectomy.  All this whirlwind of treatments and tests began the day I received that phone call, August 11, 2008.

All of this seems so long ago now, yet just yesterday as I am looking to my 40th birthday this December.  I have prayed a lot, loved a lot and cried some.  I know that God had a plan for me and four years later I am still here, cancer free and advocating for other men and women who face the fears of breast cancer.  I now work for the same center that assisted me and that technician that listened to me and made that doctor talk to me, I now have the privilege to work with.  A lot has happened since the day I was diagnosed, the hardest being losing my dad to Leukemia two months after being diagnosed with breast cancer, but that is all part of my story.  I had the privilege of being with my dad through all of his treatments.  I lost my hair before him and it encouraged him with the loss of his beard, funny huh?  I compared port scars and nursing staff.  I held his hand as he took his last breath and went to be with the Lord.  He was the first patient I advocated for and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

I am forever grateful to the medical staff that guided me and I am honored to walk the journey of breast cancer with so many wonderful men and women in the last four years. I have the most amazing husband that went to every single appointment, surgery, blood draw and scan.  He spent countless hours praying with me, for me, over me.  He provided comfort to others while I slept during chemotherapy treatments, while holding the house and kids together.  My two children are my second biggest supporters and fans.  They push me to stay positive and healthy for all for all of those milestones in their lives that I want to be a part of, weddings, grandchildren, college graduation.  I have amazing family members that picked up the slack of laundry, car rides, meals and love.  I am a blessed woman, cancer and all.  Whatever my future holds, it will be perfect but for now, each day is a blessing, each milestone, each moment and my prayer is that someone who is following this road will be able to see that in their own life.  God is good.

To Vote for Paulla Miller by emailing All you have to do to vote is put Paulla Miller in the subject line and click send!

family 300x164 CELEBRATE SURVIVOR FINALAST  Paulla Miller



Click Here to see a fun video of our Photo Shoot with Our Celebrate Survivor  Winner Jennifer

November 19, 2011

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Meet Jennifer . . .

November 11, 2011

Vote for Jennifer to win our CelebrateSurvivor contest by calling Images by Kay & Co. Photography studio 602.393.9333 to share your vote with us. Contest ends November 22nd.

Jen has been nominated by Patti Parker-Phillips (our 2010 CelebrateSurvivor Winner) . . .

When Jen was in 11th grade her mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. At a young age she became aware of the realities of breast cancer when her mother had to have a radical mastectomy and went through chemotherapy and radiation. Because of this Jen understood her own risk and knew she would have to be careful and attentive to her own body and at 30 started having mammograms.

She decided on a career path in health and fitness. She chose early on to eats, live and practice HEALTHY lifestyle choices– doing the things that literature and research said helps keep cancer away…

Yet this was not the case with my beautiful friend. Her mammograms came back clear at first, then she gained 50+ lbs within a few months time and knew something was really wrong so she went to the endocrinologist to find out that every single hormone n her body was out of whack so they started her on all sorts of different medications. The weight remained and nothing seemed to help! This went on for a while then in March of 2008 she went to a new endocrinologist who knowing her mom’s history with breast cancer put her on a drug for prolactin levels – trying to get a handle on all of this. During this time she found out her mother’s cancer had returned. Jen’s plan was to go back home to WV and see her in July. But on June 6th 2008 she woke up and saw significant visual changes in her breasts. This prompted a call to her OB/GYN who immediately ordered a diagnostic mammogram & ultra sound. The results came back confirming a breast cancer diagnosis for Jen. In July she had a double mastectomy the tumor the Dr. removed was 7.5 cm and was found to have spread to lymph nodes in her neck. Never did Jen imagine she and her mother would have to be fighting this battle at the same time.

Chemotherapy began in August of 2008 and Jen stepped up her research of the hormone fed cancer she had and got rid of over $400 worth of beauty products, switched to all organic makeup, body wash, shampoo etc… Started eating cleaner and in 3 months lost most of the weight. She also worked out diligently throughout her chemotherapy and credits her lifestyle and activity with eliminating the horrible side effects of chemotherapy, well all those except for the hair loss. Radiation followed and when it was finished she was officially in ‘remission’. Unfortunately a January 2010 PET scan showed the cancer had not only come back but come back with a vengeance. It had spread toher bones and all the lymph nodes in my neck & chest wall were involved. Chemo time again coupled with more research and additional healthy lifestyle changes, she gave up all meat except for seafood, ALL processed foods and the only sugars she had were those in fruit because the body can process these and they are ok. Her thought being “if God made it you can eat it, if man made it don’t eat it”! Again she worked out religiously and did not suffer the often debilitating side effect from chemotherapy other than hair loss!

Her 2nd round of treatment and battle #2 ended in May of 2010 and she was officially put back in ‘remission’. She also chose to have a hysterectomy after confirming that she did have the BRCA gene which shows a predisposition to breast and other female cancers. She became actively engaged in helping survivors and those going through treatment to understand food, supplements and healthy lifestyle choices using her first hand knowledge of the disease and her education and experience in the health and fitness field to try to help others get through the difficulty of treatment and recovery. Unexpectedly on June 29, 2011 a progressive ‘off’ feeling manifested itself in a sudden extreme illness and Jen ended up in the ICU for over a week when pneumonia caused her left lung to collapse and her right lung to be so full of fluid that only a ¼ of it was working. Chest tubes were put in and unfortunately cancer cells were found in the fluid they removed from her lung. For the 3rd time in 3 years cancer had invaded her life.

Jen continues to amaze and astound me with her fighting spirit and her winning attitude. She chose not to have reconstruction and instead enjoys the freedom to be ‘any size’ she wants depending on her mood and her activities. She jokes about being the first ‘boobless’ stripper and believes that breast or the lack thereof do not define her as a woman.
Sadly Jennifer’s mother lost her battle with breast cancer on October 8th of this year. Jen and her husband chose to move her father to Arizona not wanting him to be alone and not want him to remain in West Virginia and be so far away from them. She and her husband have also suffered the loss of her grandfather in June and his husband’s grandfather in July. 2011 has not been kind.

On October 25th Jen went in to see her oncologist with the hope that she would be getting the last round of chemo for her most recent recurrence and was instead told that her cancer has progressed and they would need to change her treatment. So much for one so young! This woman has battled breast cancer more times than any person should have to. It has taken so much away from her. But she maintains her desire to help others, deals with her treatments exuding grace and composure through it all. She refuses to let cancer win and does not let it get her down.
I have met many amazing woman in the past 3 years that I have been on this journey and this woman is one in a million and would make an excellent 2011 Celebrate Survivor winner….

 Meet Jennifer . . .
 Meet Jennifer . . .
 Meet Jennifer . . .

Coming in October . . .

September 7, 2011

We’re so excited to start preparations for our third annual CelebrateSurvivor Portrait Contest. Keep your eye on the blog to see how you can get involved and help us create amazing things for amazing women!

CelebrateSurvivorLogo 300x150 Coming in October . . .

Congratulations to our winner of the CelebrateSexy experience . . . (drum roll please)

debbie h1 CelebrateSexy Breast Cancer Awareness Contest Winner!DEBBIE H!

The readers of the blog could only pick one winner. However, we think that each story was so moving and heartfelt; you are all winners. That is why we would like to extend a $100 gift card to each participant toward their own CelebrateSexy experience! We want each of you to have the opportunity to look and feel beautiful.