Robin was diagnosed with Stage I Breast Cancer at age 37 and then with Stage IV/Metastatic Breast Cancer at 41.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself that has nothing to do with cancer.
I have run about 22 marathons (never that fast!)
What brought you hope as you faced cancer?
I have had the best family support from my awesome parents and my older sister (who is in Chicago, but visited 4-5 times the first few months of my treatments). I continued on with my usual day to day activities (except for working) and created a routine so I didn’t feel like I was a cancer patient.
How do you live life over cancer?
(Like above) I have created a daily routine including exercising (I have a bike in my basement and recently joined the YMCA’s Livestrong program) and usual house chores & animal care (I have 4 cats). I have found spending time with family & friends is more rewarding. I also have made new friends through Hope Scarves, Gilda’s Club, and the YMCA. I never dwell on the future, just be here in today’s moments.
How did you become connected with Hope Scarves? Whether you received, sent or donated a Hope Scarf, what did this experience mean to you?
I had heard about Hope Scarves from 2-3 people (one at an event for children’s cancer – a head shaving event) and how good of an organization it is. I decided to visit one day and ask about becoming a volunteer because I have been off work and certainly have some free time. I was greeted with enthusiasm & felt welcome right away. That day I got to select a scarf for myself. I chose one with colorful flowers – perfect for Easter that weekend!
What do you wish other people knew about Hope Scarves?
Well, the staff at Hope Scarves have many steps involved in sending out each scarf. There are several caring groups around the country who donate their time to prepare/sew scarves and send to Hope Scarves. The stories are all different, but give hope or inspiration to the next recipient. The scarf is just one way to have some connection to another individuals who has had their cancer journey. And the scarf can be fun and get you compliments!
What would you tell someone who is thinking about sending a Hope Scarf to a friend facing cancer?
It is something very simple, but will show that you care and that you are thinking about them & how to lift them up.
What is one of your dreams or goals for the future?
In the near future my goal is to return to work as a physical therapist and have better clarity to assist my patients to achieve their physical goals so they can resume life as they once did. I want to be more caring, but also stronger and wiser to get them well faster because life can be short or change without much notice.
What is your favorite inspirational quote?
“We are the champions!”
This reminds me of my loving parents because they are huge University of Louisville fans and this song was played a lot in 1980 & 1986 when the men’s basketball team won the NCAA tournament. As a person now labeled as a “cancer patient” I believe the medical advances now and in the near future will allow me to win over the disease.
If your friends or family had to describe you in a couple of words, what would those be?
I’ve been told that I’m funny, but that usually has involved caffeine! Hopefully they will say I am kind and caring (and leave off the “disorganized” description!)
Please share something you learned facing cancer.
There are a lot of resources out there. My first experience with Stage I Breast Cancer was so “normal” and no one seemed to push seeking outside resources. This year I have been introduced to several local organizations, allowing me to meet some wonderful people. It was through these new friends I learned about the other resources out there (which I probably won’t need, but will keep note of). Mostly I learned that family becomes closer, friends will check-in on you more often, church members will pray for you and even complete strangers may ask to pray for you – this happened to me twice! So many people have been touched by this disease and knowing you are never alone is comforting.
Here are some interesting links for you! Enjoy your stay :)