Happiness is what Staci Taylor, a mother of four, chose as her battle weapon against breast cancer.
“I never felt like I had cancer,” Taylor said.
In October 2017 at the age of 45, Taylor was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer.
“I had a PET scan on Halloween,” she said. “It was the scariest day of my life.”
Through multiple rounds of radiation, 12 weeks of chemo and 6 months of the chemo pill, Taylor beat the cancer and is proud to say she’s in remission.
Throughout her battle, she relied heavily on her faith, family, friends and keeping a positive attitude.
“Life is a gift and we have to stay positive in every situation,” she said.
Taylor is a Frankfort native. She graduated from Western Hills High School in 1990. She worked at Commonwealth Credit Union, but has spent the majority of her career as a hair stylist.
FRANK.: Tell us about your family
Taylor: My husband is Chris Taylor. We’ve been together 28 years. We met at church when I was in cosmetology school. We got married in 1992.
My son Dallas, 22, works at the credit union that I used to work at. He is doing cyber security. He graduated from Kentucky State University.
My daughter Lauren, 20, is an assistant manager at Wallace Station and a student at the University of Kentucky.
When my daughter Raegen, 17, was born they said she would never walk or talk, but she’s a miracle. She has cerebral palsy. She had a brain bleed during delivery. She can communicate. She can walk. She can dance. She loves to dance.
She goes to WHHS. She’s in a dance class. She also takes horse riding lessons at Indian Ridge Farm.
My daughter Noelle, 8, goes to Collins Lane Elementary. She is in second grade.
FRANK.: What are your thoughts on the importance of mammograms?
Taylor: It’s better to catch it early before you have to go through chemo and radiation like I did. Don’t be scared of going to the doctor because knowledge is powerful.
I had to have a double mastectomy and two reconstructive surgeries. My cancer was 8-centimeters.
FRANK.: What got you through chemo?
Taylor: My faith in God. I knew God was with me. Knowing he was with me, there wasn’t anything to be scared about.
FRANK.: What do you like so much about doing hair?
Taylor: I love hair because it’s always different, and I make people feel so much better. When going through cancer, you feel so much better to have a wig on or your hair fixed. I love helping people feel better.
I didn’t completely lose my hair during chemo. I put ice on my head, I made my own contraption. I kept 30 percent of my hair. My kids never saw me bald. I was grateful. When you look better you feel better.
FRANK.: Do you volunteer in the community?
Taylor: I volunteer with Stewart Home and School. I’m Richie’s friend. He has been there eight years, and for the past six years, once a month, I take him on a date. He loves to karaoke. I take him to Rose’s Pub or Benson Marina, or Riverboat Grill.
He has so much fun. He can sing Guns and Roses like no other. His parents and I have become friends too.
I went to family weekend last year and I was his caregiver for the weekend. I go to his plays and other special events.
I’m also part of a group called the Misfits through Capital City Christian Church. We do little things. We sang at the nursing home.
I also do house calls her for homebound people and do their hair.
FRANK.: What do you and your family do for fun?
Taylor: We like to go to Dollywood. It’s special needs friendly. We go like five times a year. They have a sensory room and special passes where kids don’t have to wait to ride rides. We’re active at church.
Reagan loves Christian concerts. I’m going to try and take her to see Lauren Daigle. I love to thrift shop.
We did the Challenger Softball League in Lawrenceburg. We love to go out to eat.
FRANK.: What do you like so much about living in Frankfort?
Taylor: I love all the people, and I love that it’s centrally located between Louisville and Lexington. It’s home. Everything you need is in Frankfort. My son did so well at K-State.
I think it’s a good community and there’s lots of activities close. It’s all I know. Frankfort has been really good to me. When we had a fire and our house was burnt to the ground, Frankfort provided me with everything we needed.
Even during chemo, the church made my family and I meals. When tragedy strikes, the community comes together and shows a lot of love.
FRANK.: What kind of advice do you have for people going through hard times?
Taylor: Life is a gift and we have to stay positive in every situation. Worry and fear doesn’t do anything positive. I did really good through the cancer thing. I never felt like I had cancer. Keeping a positive attitude is everything.
Every night at 8 p.m., my watch goes off and it says “choose happiness.” Even in a bad situation, you can choose to be happy.
After my cancer I thought I was going to take the notice off, but I thought “no, this is going to be my motto for life.”
I hope to inspire people and let people know that everything is OK and everyday is a gift, and make the best out of it each day.