Quotes for Good

Quotes for Good

We’re excited to be sponsored by our local State Farm® agent as this month’s Quotes for Good organization. This month, for every household we send their way and who completes an auto quote, they’ll make a $10 donation to our organization.

For the quote to qualify, the individual cannot be a current State Farm customer, but please refer friends and family to help support this organization.

When calling in/stopping by for a quote, be sure to mention Quotes for Good and our organization’s name for the quote to qualify. We are excited about the opportunity to generate donations and create awareness about our cause.

Thank you for supporting us through Quotes for Good. Together, we can make a difference in our community.

Sheila Radwan, State Farm Agent
5854 Camp Road
Hamburg, New York 14075
sheila@sheilaradwan.net
716-649-0660

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Neighborhood of Good®

What to Do When You Are Diagnosed With Cancer During Pregnancy

What to Do When You Are Diagnosed With Cancer During Pregnancy

Receiving a cancer diagnosis during pregnancy can be scary. The excitement of the pregnancy is quickly replaced by the fear of the cancer. Then, the focus of the mother often shifts to wanting to protect the unborn child at all costs. Pregnant women with cancer will often stop focusing on the cancer and instead focus on getting well for the sake of their unborn child, as well as for other children they may have, their partner, or other members of the family who may need them. Read the full story on Cancer.net!

H42 Day is April 2nd!

H42 Day is April 2nd!

Friday, April 2nd, is the sixth annual “Hope 42 Day”!!! Help us celebrate by supporting Hope for Two’s network connecting women who are currently pregnant with cancer with other women who have experienced a similar cancer diagnosis.  Since 1997, we have provided information, hope, and support to more than 2,000 women from all 50 U.S. States and the District of Columbia as well as over 51 different countries. 
 
Hope for Two operates through donations and the work of our volunteer support women.  Your “Hope 42 Day” donation funds our website and provides care packages for each Hope for Two patient.  But, most importantly, your donation guarantees that we reach and support even more women who are diagnosed with cancer while pregnant.
 
Our goal this year is to raise $42,000.  In the spirit of “Hope 42 Day,” consider making a donation of $4.20, $42, $420, or even $4,200!  Any donation is welcome and greatly appreciated.
 
Please help make this year’s “Hope 42 Day” the most successful to date!!!  Click here to support Hope for Two: https://www.facebook.com/donate/514751592263100/.  Your donation today will help us continue providing women diagnosed with cancer while pregnant with information, support and hope.
 
#hopefortwo #pregnantwithcancer #hope42 #hope42day

Regorapetse’s Story

Regorapetse’s Story

When a miracle comes in the form of an unborn child.

We can never dictate who dies and lives from a deadly disease, car accident, rape, or any other misfortune that may take place in our lives… But we can dictate how we survive from such challenges, and in the end, that’s what makes us greater….I decided to survive and be a victor and not a victim.

My name is Regorapetse Serote, and this is my story. It was August of 2017 when I first heard the news that I was diagnosed with a rare disease, stage 3, Inflammatory Breast Cancer. To my advantage, I was told in the comfort of my home by my cousin, who had helped me get the tests and results quickly. As I sat there with her and my aunt, I cannot articulate the thoughts that were going through my mind but remember being in a daze, thinking about everything I had heard about breast cancer and how deadly the disease can be. I remember thinking of chemo and suffering and not continuing to fend for myself in the future. But at that moment, it was my aunt and my cousin’s strength that helped me get through the day. Their faith continued to carry me through what I believed at the time was going to be a road of hospital visits and feelings of weakness and despair. It allowed me to see that it is not the end but just the beginning of a new normal. They reminded me that God is our source, and through my relationship with God, I would be able to get through it all.

I learned so many lessons in this time of my life; let’s look into lesson number one; support. Since chemo didn’t get me down physically, it definitely broke me down emotionally, which is when nothing else matters. Still, people, no amount of money could ever equate to the amount of support I received from family and friends and, in particular, my partner at the time. I say in particular my partner because… SIGH… Let’s sidetrack a bit and biblically look at the meaning of the word love; Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy; it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others; it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hope, always perseveres. You see, I received the biblical meaning of love from one man that chose to stand by me and everything I was going through; he taught me another level of loyalty and commitment, and even though my challenges, in his eye, I was still the same person he wanted to be with. I have so many highlighted moments where my friends also stood by me through it all, but there was one time, in particular, I was blown over by the lengths they went through to make sure I was good. They surprised me with an all-expenses-paid weekend getaway, creating lasting memories.

Let’s fast forward to 2020; oh, what a year it’s been. By the end of 2019, my breast got worse, to the point where it became an open wound, and the pain was so excruciating. To top it off, in March of 2020, I found out I was three months pregnant and that the breast cancer had spread to my lung, and now I was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. When my oncologist told me that it had spread, there were so many different emotions going through my head, and still to this day, I can’t articulate exactly how I was feeling. To make matters worse, I had to entertain the idea of aborting my unborn baby cause the doctors were unsure how the chemotherapy would react to my body. But I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t live with the fact that I had aborted a child, my child; so, I chose to trust and believe in God and that He would safely guard her and me. On the 11th of September, I gave birth to a healthy baby girl by C-section because the doctors found out I also had heart failure caused by the chemotherapy I took in 2017, and giving birth normally would cause way too much strain on my heart with the potential of it stopping completely. Anashe is my miracle baby, and I believe she is also healing me because when I look at her, she gives me hope that you can make it through any challenge. You have to decide that you will get through the challenges and believe that you will and you will. Today my daughter is 4 months with a lifetime ahead of her, and I believe I will be with her every step of the way.

You are your best Quarterback

You are your best Quarterback

Patty Murray

By: Patty Murray, Chairwoman and Co-founder of Hope for Two…The Pregnant with Cancer Network

I learned this valuable lesson 21 years ago, just after finishing six months of intensive chemotherapy treatments, while at my radiation Oncologist’s office being fitted for my foam radiation cradle. It all began when I asked, what I perceived to be, a very straightforward question, “Where are we going to radiate, doctor?” With a puzzled look on his face, he paused, backed up and blurted, “That is a very good question. I really don’t know.” My husband and I were stunned.

It was my understanding, up to this time, that the medical community had treatment protocols for every ailment and disease. When they were confronted with a particular malady, they would apply the protocol and a certain percentage of success would be achieved. What I slowly learned during my eleven months of treatments is that there isn’t a consensus of opinion among health professionals as to how to treat any particular medical condition.

The reason I had asked the question in the first place was that there were varying opinions as to whether my excised tumor in the axilla (arm pit area) and the affected lymph node was a secondary tumor and that the primary tumor was still in my breast, which couldn’t be found during pregnancy due to a number of factors. After delivering my son, I had a breast MRI and they were convinced that the primary would be found in my breast. However, it wasn’t found because either the chemotherapy eliminated it or the primary was in the axilla which was removed during my lumpectomy. So the question, “Where to radiate?” was a reasonable one. He pushed his rolling chair away from the examination table and said that he was going to a Radiation Oncology National Conference that weekend and would consult with his colleagues. Meanwhile, he directed us to, “Go onto OncoLink and do some research. When you give me a call next week we can collaborate and see what each of us came up with.” Inside my head I was screaming, “OncoLink, a website, I don’t even have a computer.”  He advised us to go to the nearest Public Library. Thank God that the doctor’s back was to us, as my husband and I exchanged quite an impolite look.

After our initial anger, we realized that we had to become our own health quarterbacks; to take our health decision into our own hands, which took three full weeks.  We decided to phone or visit every doctor and medical center that we ever came in contact with and ask their opinion. The opinions varied greatly- from full breast radiation to a double mastectomy. Finally, we asked my medical oncologist and agreed with his decision to continue with four more rounds of a different chemotherapy and follow it up with six weeks of full breast radiation.

What we learned from this was three-fold. One, that you must take an active role in guiding and managing your health care. This is your life and you are the best one to manage your care. Otherwise, many medical mishaps could occur.

The second lesson is that once you make a decision, never look back. When you research, ask questions, weigh all the options, and then make an informed decision, embrace it and know that it is right.

The third lesson is, instead of being angry that no one has become your quarterback, realize that it is in your best interest to happily don that jersey. Instead of being a passive bystander, you are now an active participant in your healing. This fosters both your physical and mental healing. I am not unique when I say that when I was diagnosed, I was thrown into a tailspin, sensing that I was out of control. I was like a ship without a rudder, without a captain, in a sea of chaos. Once you become the quarterback or captain of your ship, you begin to feel more in control. You are now a part of the team where you transform from the passive angry patient into an active director whose actions and attitudes effectuate positive outcomes.

These lessons and the word captain reminds me of the famous scene in the movie DEAD POETS SOCIETY, starring Robin Williams, where he was a non-conformist English teacher in a New England boarding high school. He quotes Walt Whitman’s poem about Abraham Lincoln which begins, “O Captain! My Captain!” He emphasizes that words and ideas can change your world. I believe, like he, that you can change your world when you become the captain of your own ship. Williams finishes with, “Listen, you hear it… Carpe… Hear it… Carpe Diem… Seize the day boys. Make your lives extraordinary.”

Until next time, seize your life, because it is so EXTRAORDINARY! ✿