one day at a time

Things are continuing to go well for us. My body is getting stronger each day and my heart and spirit too. We planted a “smoothie garden” over the weekend with all the yummy things we put in our morning smoothie- kale, spinach, etc… (Then it snowed- but I think the plants made it!) I went for a bike ride around Cherokee park.  Felt great to do something physical that I love.

The mornings are the hardest. There is a moment right when I wake up when I am still kind of in the fog of sleep that I am so happy, cozy and safe. Then I remember the reality that has engulfed us. And I 5332d4f98b5cd36d23ae623dphysically feel like I have been punched in the gut. I yearn for that peaceful moment to last a little longer. I am working at living in the present. The past is gone- I can’t get back the fearless, strong survivor who beat breast cancer and put it behind her. The future is unknown- I don’t know what will happen nor can I worry about it today. What I have is today. Today is a blessing and I am grateful for it.

Thank you for your encouragement on this journey. I hope it is a long, happy, one day at a time kind of adventure!

With hope

sweet silly moments

I’ve been doing this week on my own because Jay had to fly to Finland for a couple days. (just like the good ol’ days!) It has been really nice to just “do” life- make breakfast, ask the boys 5 times to brush their teeth, clean up puppy puddles, pack lunch boxes, etc… These are the everyday moments of life. Moments I cherish so much deeper now. I’ve decided a couple things: 1. We are not using the word terminal when we 53284a78ca16b4f25585d476talk about my diagnosis. I am not dying from this disease right now. I am living with this disease. 2. We are living each day in joy. If you see me around town please just laugh and talk with me like normal. I appreciate the hugs and concern. but no more tilted head, sad eye greetings. 3. We have a lot of people’s stuff I will never be able to find the owner to- Tupperware, pots, children’s clothing you let the boys borrow, etc… If we have something of yours please text me and l will look for it. 4. This is my sincere thank you to all those who have sent gifts, meals, flowers. I am usually really good at thank you notes. But, not this time. Please know we are grateful for your support. 5. I am living with stage IV metastatic breast cancer. Living!! We won’t really know more about my disease progression or stabilization until a pet scan at the end of April. Pain will also be my guide- if I start having pain we know we have a problem. But, for now, I am pain free!! 6. We are going to the Florida keys for spring break in a couple weeks. We are not taking cancer with us. Just our family of four, lots of healthy food, bathing suits and some fishing poles. Love!!

Face of Hope, March 2014 – Lara (Louisville, KY)

1. How did you become connected with Hope Scarves?

I am the founder of Hope Scarves. This idea grew from my personal experience when a friend of a friend sent me a box of scarves and a note of encouragement when I was facing breast cancer 6 years ago. Hope Scarves was my way of turning a scary time in my life into something positive to help others.

2. If you donated a scarf please share what this experience meant to you or if you received a scarf and story please share how this impacted your healing journey?

Receiving those scarves from Kelley meant so much to me. Just knowing another young woman like me had faced this disease and made it through gave me hope I could do it to. When I started giving my scarves away I was equally touched. It meant so much to me to pass along the strength and courage I gained on my journey to someone else just starting out. Now, when we send out over 20 scarves a week- I am just in awe of the power of encouragement and hope being shared between women. I love what Hope Scarves has become and that it brings Hope to so many women when they are scared.

3. What are the things that provided hope and strength to you throughout your battle?

I am motivated by other women in my situation – hearing stories of determination and seeing them face this disease helps me believe I can as well. I have an amazing doctor who helps me believe in myself and gives me lots of room to be hopeful even when things were dire. I also have an amazing support network of friends and family that picks up all the pieces I can’t carry anymore. I am spending a lot of time looking at the mind, body, spirit connection and nurturing each piece. I realize that cancer takes a toll on all three

4. Where are you currently on your cancer journey? Tell us how you are living life over cancer.

I was diagnosed with stage iv metastatic disease on jan.9th first diagnosis of stage II breast cancer in 2007. It has been quite a blow to my “hope” to be diagnosed with advanced breast cancer. I really thought I had beaten it after everything we went through 7 years ago. This diagnosis has been a lot harder to comprehend and accept but I am doing the same things I did 7 years ago- finding women living with this same diagnosis, surrounding myself with good doctors and leaving room for hope. Having an advanced stage diagnosis brings so much unknown. I think that has been the hardest part. Not knowing how long I have to live, not knowing if this disease will progress quickly or hold stable, not knowing how my body will react to treatments… but, I am trying really hard to live life over cancer and take it one day at a time. Just soaking up the love and laughter I am a part of today.

5. What do you wish other people knew about Hope Scarves?

I hope people will recognize Hope Scarves as a resource for cancer fighters and also for cancer survivors. As our requests for scarves increase we really need more survivors to share stories and encouragement!

6. What would you tell someone who is thinking about sending a Hope Scarf to a friend battling cancer?

Do it! No matter where they are in their journey – they deserve a little hope. If even for a moment – hope is an amazing gift.

7. What is one of your dreams or goals for the future?

I would love to have the opportunity to share Hope Scarves at the national level – like on Good Morning America or The Today Show. Most of all, I just want to live life as fully and love as deeply as possible for as long as I can.

8. What is your favorite inspirational quote or words to live by?

“In the end, only three things will matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.” Gandhi

9. If your friends or family had to describe you in two words, what would those be?

Joyful & positive

10. Please share something you learned having gone through cancer – either as a survivor or as having a loved one with cancer.

I have learned that my hope isn’t all nestled in survival anymore. Obviously I love to hear about women living with metastatic breast cancer for years and years. I would love to live with this disease for a very long time. But, my bigger hope is to live as fully as I can each day. To nurture my mind, body and spirit – to put as much of myself into our children so they know I am always with them and to figure out how to live life over cancer and be happy in the time I have.

Easy being green

Today as i hustled out the door to get the boys to school I spilled my entire “green machine” smoothie all53225488ca16b4c052ff46b1 over myself, car, computer bag, etc… This would have really irked me a couple months ago. But, this morning it made me laugh out loud. I am living my life- one fabulous messy day at a time. It’s not easy to
face this new diagnosis. I am scared of the unknown. I yearn for the easy laughter and carefree joy I see in other people. But I am figuring out how to live within this new reality. I am loving each day, each breath and each hug. I’m even loving the sloppy green slime in my cup holders. I particularly loved when I was about to walk Bennett into kindergarten and he said, “mommy- do you think you can take off that gross sweatshirt.” “Sure babe” I said and took his hand with a smile. Love to you and joy… one fabulous messy day at a time. Lara

the beauty of each day

Just wanted to send a quick update to let those who care about us know how things are going.   I am putting together a team of people to help me become as strong as I can to fight this disease- oncologist, nutritionist, counselor, energy work, yoga instructor.  We are changing our diet to be more plant based (organic), low sugar and as natural as possible… which is harder than you would think.

531d247faf3d79484909a470I believe I can fight this.  That I have a lot of living left to do.   I am slowing down my day and taking time to breath.  I’m taking time each day to quietly be by myself and focus my body, mind and spirit on being strong and fighting this disease.

I am also laughing again and spending time with our family and friends.  Tomorrow, I am going to drive the kids to school… something I took for granted 2 months ago.  But, will lovingly be grateful for tomorrow.

Thank you to everyone who drops off meals, calls, texts, sends cards and gifts.  It means a lot to our family to have your help.

As I live each day to the fullest – I hope you will do the same.  Each day is a gift – embrace the ones you love, feel the strength in your body, let go of judgement and negativity, laugh with friends and be true to yourself.  Just a couple things I am doing ….

with hope,