This year, we will begin featuring stories from our collection as our monthly Faces of Hope. These stories show the common experience shared by people facing cancer, but they also illustrate the highly personal nature of storytelling, reflecting the unique thoughts, feelings, and language of their authors. By sharing these stories here, we hope their words will be an additional source of strength for our scarf recipients, help friends and supporters better understand what it’s like to hear, “you have cancer,” and be a source of inspiration for all who read them.
If you would like to see your story featured as a Face of Hope, please submit it here.
Jamie – California
Jamie was diagnosed with Breast Cancer at age 27, and her story has been attached to 15 Hope Scarves. Thank you for sharing your story, strength, and hope with others, Jamie!
Tell us a little about your diagnosis and what brought you hope during your treatment.
My husband and I got to hear our baby’s heartbeat for the first time at a routine doctor’s appointment in February of 2007. Everything checked out and looked great until my doctor asked whether I had any questions. “As a matter of fact, I do,” I replied. “What is this lump? Is it a milk gland, already?”
On Valentine’s Day, our worst fears were confirmed: I had triple-negative breast cancer. I was 14 weeks pregnant and 27 years old. On that day, every goal and timeline I had carefully mapped out for our family and my career were thrown out the window. Now my focus was only on the fight to make sure my baby would be born both healthy and happy; my own health and survival were secondary. One week after my diagnosis I began chemotherapy. My oncologist prescribed a cocktail of medications that were known to be safe for the fetus because the drugs didn’t pass the placental barrier. But that reassurance was difficult to grasp while sitting in an infusion chair for six hours. Nonetheless, my baby that was growing inside of me, despite the hours and hours of chemotherapy he too endured, was a beacon of hope for me during treatment and beyond.
Our baby had nearly six months of chemotherapy with me before his early arrival on July 14, 2007. Blake was born at a healthy 5 pounds, 9 ounces and will a full head of hair – more than I had, at the time, because of the drugs. A week after his delivery, I returned to my aggressive chemotherapy schedule for another three months. After that came the bilateral mastectomy, a series of six reconstructive and prophylactic surgeries. Today, Blake is a healthy, vibrant seven-year-old and a constant reminder about what is truly important to me.
Please share any thoughts of words of encouragement for another woman going through treatment.
The power of hope truly kept me going during my two years of treatment and continues to push me forward years later. It can do the same for you. Hang onto loved ones and focus on getting better. Hope lives!!!
We asked Jamie to update her story- Here’s how she has turned heartbreak into hope:
With Hope and Gratitude,