women of Hope
Alpha Upsilon's Women of hope
Here at Alpha Upsilon, we are dedicated to empowering the voices of the women around us. Breast cancer affects the lives of so many people. Each woman has a story to tell, and for 1 in 8 women, breast cancer has become part of their story. We started Women of Hope in order to tell the stories of women who have fought or are currently fighting breast cancer. Through this blog, we as a chapter are hoping to share the stories of survivors of breast cancer in an effort to give them a platform to share their story, spread hope to other women who have become personally affected by breast cancer, and bring awareness and education to the community around us.
Woman of gratitude
"Overall, I have learned gratitude – to be grateful for the opportunity to have access to the advanced medical treatments, research, and my circumstances. It is extremely important to have a strong support system, while humbling to ask for help, it is very important for recovery."
Woman of strength
For 2 years I was the Don’t Be a Fool Chairman for the Northern Virginia Alumnae in the 90s, distributing self exam shower cards, I orchestrated the distribution of over 100k of the cards during the biennium. As I counted those cards in stacks of 25, 50 and 100, I often wondered if I would be the 1 in 8 women to contract breast cancer. My worries intensified in 2002 when I was called back for more testing after my annual mammogram. I was told I had dense breasts and fibroid cysts. Every year meant a call back and even a biopsy in 2009. All was always fine, but I continued annual mammograms, and supported ZTA efforts for early detection and breast cancer awareness. I was
so proud of my ZTA Alpha Upsilon daughter, Stephanie, when she chaired the Think Pink Carnival in 2013. My husband and I loved going to the OSU games and hosting tailgates for the ZTA girls. At my 2017 mammogram, they brought me back in for more testing and then wanted to do a biopsy, I agreed, as I knew it would be the same results. Well it wasn't. The radiologist didn’t like the way she saw cells pulling together. The biopsy showed stage 1 invasive lobular carcinoma measuring 0.8 cm in size. Lobular cancer accounts for only 10% of breast cancer. It is most often advanced before it is found, as it is not a lump, but spreads more like tentacles. Often it is 6-8 cm before it is found. As this was found so early, I was able to have a lumpectomy and 30 sessions of radiation. I look forward to my 5 year milestone of being cancer free this Valentine's Day. I urge everyone to stay on top of your annual mammograms and follow up as needed every time. It could save your life!