Teresa – La Quinta, CA

September 2015

How did you become connected with Hope Scarves?

I found out about Hope Scarves when I read an article about them in CURE magazine. I had been wanting to find a place to donate my scarves to and when I read this article I just knew that was what I wanted to do.

What did the experience of donating a scarf and story mean to you?

Right from the beginning of my cancer treatment I knew that I wanted to donate my scarves. I wanted to be able to help other women going through this difficult journey as I did. If I could brighten one person’s day with my scarves, it would be worth it. I had so many wonderful comments from people about how I looked in my scarves and how I always coordinated my outfits to match. Every morning before going to work, I would first pick out my scarf then I decided what I was going to wear with it.

What are the things that provide hope and strength to you throughout your battle?

Family, friends and coworkers support was HUGE to me throughout this battle. Right from my 91 year old Mom, to my husband of 24 years, to my 2 sons and to my coworkers who were enormous in providing me hope and strength to continue through. They said I was an inspiration to them however, I feel it was the other way around.

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

I was diagnosed 5/23/2014 with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. On August 1st, I had a lumpectomy and did not have to have any lymph nodes removed. I was scheduled to start 6 weeks of radiation when my Oncologist wanted me to have the Oncotype DX test on my tumor to determine by chance of reoccurrence. I was positive that since it was diagnosed early and it was small that I would have a low chance of reoccurrence. Unfortunately my results came in as an intermediate risk and it was recommended that I have chemotherapy prior to radiation. That decision was a no-brainer for me as I knew I had to do everything that I could to beat this. Chemo was completed Dec 1st followed up with 16 rounds of radiation. As my last mammogram in April, there was no sign of cancer and I am a 14 month survivor.

Life after cancer has made me appreciate more things in life that I may had taken for granted before. Life is too short, make the most of it.

What do you wish other people knew about Hope Scarves?

I wish more people knew about Hope Scarves and the “hope” that it gives women with cancer. Even with all your support you kind of feel alone during your journey and having someone else that knows what you are going through would be very helpful.

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

I would tell how amazing it felt to donate a scarf and how much it would mean to someone facing cancer. I am going to suggest a fundraiser at my school to help bring awareness to Hope Scarves.

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

I would like to become more involved with people with cancer and offer my support to them. I believe I was very lucky for my early diagnosis and for all the support that I received. It truly made life so much easier for me during a difficult time.

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

Inspirational Quote: ACCEPT what is. LET GO of what was. HAVE FAITH in what can be.

Words to live by: Laugh – often while going through treatment. Find the humor in it even if it is about your bald head. Keep Positive – positive attitude and thoughts help you make it through it.

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

Strong and Inspirational. My husband told me that he learned more about me since being diagnosed with cancer than he did in the 24 years we were married. He could not believe how strong of a person I was and how I never said “why me”. My friend told me how strong and what an inspiration I was to her. She said I never once complained about it and through it all I came to work every day with a smile.

Please share something you learned facing cancer.

I have faced cancer twice, first with a loved one and now myself.  I never knew how strong of a person I was. I kept a positive attitude and never doubted that I would beat this. If I ever have to go through this again, God forbid, I know I can overcome it too.