a toast to today

Today was a good day… again!  I am learning to laugh again and hug my three boys (Jay included) without crying. I am learning to be happy for the simple idea of being happy- without feeling like as soon as I laugh I have to remember – duh, you have stage 4 breast cancer.  (How can you be happy?)  I am also trying to figure out how to take action in the midst of a diagnosis that is overwhelmingly out of my hands.  More on all this later…

Right now, I am proud beyond words that Hope Scarves is at the C4YW (Conference for Young Women) in Orlando this weekend.  I would much rather be there representing Hope Scarves than here figuring out our treatment plan.  But, the fact that since we launched our organization at C4YW two years ago Hope Scarves has grown to a point where we have two staff people who can be there representing “my little idea” is amazing to me.  For those who don’t know this – Hope Scarves essentially started at the C4YW in 2009 when I attended the conference as a survivor with my mom.  I packed some of the scarves Kelley had sent me with the intention of finding someone there who could wear them.   There I met Roberta and we laughed as I showed her how to wear a scarf.   Roberta and her friend Jen (Who was at the conference) joined us for the Annual Celebration of Hope event for Hope Scarves this past fall.  Roberta reminded me that at lunch in 2009 I told her my idea for Hope Scarves.  I had forgotten that I had shared this little plan that long ago…  I put my heart into this organization and I am so honored to see it grow and be so widely supported.   It is essentially my “baby.”  When we moved to Louisville I had two goals – to start Hope Scarves and adopt a baby.  We realized we couldn’t do both so decided we would get Hope Scarves up and running and then find a way to expand our family through adoption.   Life has taken us down a different path then adopting a child.  But, really Hope Scarves is my “baby.” I’ve nurtured it and watched it grow.  It has given me more than I could ever explain and it has taught me so much about who I am.  Now, I’ve had to kind of let it spread it’s wings… but I’m not letting it go!  I’m more determined then ever to put as much of myself into the organization as possible.   I’m really excited about sharing my story and the story of Hope Scarves with a broader audience.   I am looking forward to the opportunity to speak to who ever will listen (ideally someone like Ellen or Robin Roberts…) and tell them about Hope Scarves.   Please spread the word about our organization.  If you know a survivor – ask her to share her encouragement as a story donor.  If you know a fighter – please send her a scarf.  If you would like to make a donation please support our organization.   You can do all these things on our website – www.hopescarves.org  Please like us on facebook and keep up with all our fun.  Please leave a comment if you have specific questions or ideas.

I also want to thank all the people who helped get Hope Scarves ready for the conference.  All the volunteers who made bracelets, tied bows, prepared supplies, to my friend Gelia who made 100 handmade “hope squares” for survivors who share their story, for Lauren for organizing lots of details.  And most of all to our two part time, but full hearted staff members who are in Orlando (could be worse!) this weekend representing Hope Scarves.  I am so honored to have Amy Keller and Erica Bricking representing me and Hope Scarves.  I have made a goal that next year I WILL be at the conference and hopefully I will have the opportunity to be a speaker and share the story of Hope Scarves and how it came to be through the conference and the help of so many amazing young women fighting breast cancer and living life to the fullest.

You know I am feeling better when I am back to sharing some Hope!  I’m happy when I talk about Hope Scarves.  So, thanks for letting me tell you about it!

Tonight at dinner we made a simple toast.  “To today” we said.

“to today”

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