1. How did you become connected with Hope Scarves?
I first read about Hope Scarves in a local publication, right after my diagnosis. Not long after, two different women I know requested that scarves be sent on my behalf.
2. How did receiving the scarf and story impact your healing journey?
It was such a treat to receive a colorful, pretty scarf in the mail, along with a cancer survivor’s story. It gave me hope that I, too, can beat this illness. I felt as if I was “carrying the torch,” so to speak, and continuing the fight in the battle of beating cancer. And, it helped to wear something that made me feel feminine, because breast cancer can certainly rob you of your femininity.
3. What are the things that provided hope and strength to you throughout your battle?
My children, family members and friends kept me going. My kids are ages eight and six, and I plan to be in their lives for a very long time – see them graduate, start careers, get married. Plus, there’s so much more that I want to do in my life, so those thoughts, and the help of a great support system, kept me motivated.
4. Where are you currently in your life after cancer? Tell us about your hobbies, interests, family and what is going on these days.
I finished with chemo on July 5. I had a double mastectomy on Aug. 13 and my pathology report revealed no more cancer! I started radiation on Oct.19 and will be finished the day before Thanksgiving, which I think is rather appropriate. Before my diagnosis, I was into running, so when I can, I take walks to stay active, with the hope that I’ll be a runner again. I took up horseback riding recently and love it! I’m learning English-style riding. It’s very athletic, yet therapeutic to be around the horses. I’m really enjoying myself. I’m also an avid reader and I like to garden. Slowly, but surely, I’ll return to doing the activities I love. Of course, my kids’ many extracurricular activities keep me busy as well.
5. What do you wish other people knew about Hope Scarves?
It truly is about hope. It’s not only about receiving something you can wear while going through chemo, it’s learning the stories of other cancer survivors. You find you’re part of this sisterhood of survivors and that’s a good feeling. You’re not alone.
6. What would you tell someone who is thinking about sending a Hope Scarf to a friend battling cancer?
Do it! It’s such a thoughtful gesture and speaking as a recipient, it’s a wonderful feeling to know that someone is thinking of you and cheering you on.
7. What is something that you would like to do that you haven’t done yet? (ie. Bucket List)
Travel more. I would love to visit Greece, Italy and Spain, among other locales.
8. What is your favorite inspirational quote or words to live by?
“She is clothed in strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.” – Proverbs 31:25
9. If your friends or family had to describe you in two words, what would those be?
Strong and witty.
10. Please share something you learned having gone through cancer.
I learned that I could dig deeper that I ever thought possible. And, a good attitude will not only get you through it, but will help you thrive. I also found that I want to pay it forward for others. I met so many wonderful cancer survivors who gave me hope and I want to be there for others fighting the good fight.