Welcome to Hāz for Hope.com. I am so excited you are here!
My name is Amy Hayes, and I am a 2-time breast-cancer survivor, single mother of 2 children (now 6 and 8 years old), and founder/designer of Hāz for Hope note cards. The following is an abbreviated version of my very long and complicated personal story, one that I hope will encourage and inspire you and prove that if I can survive cancer, you can too...
In March of 2005, while sitting in my attorney’s office filing for divorce, I received a call from my doctor and heard the words “you have breast cancer.”
My treatment began immediately, and the 18 weeks of chemotherapy were spent in nearly debilitating stress—living in the same house with my now ex-husband (even though he was very rarely home to help even with the children) and anticipating the looming divorce. During my treatments, I was forced to rely on friends for my physical and emotional care, the scheduling of my transportation to and from appointments, and the care of my children (then 1 and 3 years old) as well. It was a valuable time for my personal growth, however, as I found faith and surprising inner strength while facing multiple challenges.
3 days after my final lumpectomy surgery in September of 2005, and during the time when I received 33 radiation treatments and preventative medication infusions, the divorce process ensued. I endured child-custody interviews and evaluations, depositions, an all-day mediation, and several court hearings over the following nine months.
Already falling behind on the bills (by that time my now ex-husband had checked out completely), I was left to borrow money from my credit cards to pay bills and buy groceries. All I could do at that point was care for the children with what little energy I had, and try my best to not stress as the household and medical bills piled up.
My divorce was finalized in May of 2006 (the same month I finished my infusions). I was truly blessed and relieved when I was awarded sole physical and legal custody of the children. I had made it! I survived cancer and divorce, all at the same time.
In March of 2007, the day after my 6-month routine mammogram, while recuperating from my treatments and looking forward to getting my life back on track, I heard the words "you have breast cancer” again. Hearing it the second time was much harder than the first. I was devastated, but quickly reconfirmed my commitment to proactively fight the disease and turn what could have been a traumatic experience into a positive and character-building one.
Despite my ongoing physical and financial challenges, I am proud that I am a breast-cancer survivor. Through my struggles I thank God for the strength I have gained through it all, and look forward to sharing my story to encourage others.
Thank you for visiting the Hāz for Hope web site. I wish you God’s blessings, peace, and good health!
2-Time Breast Cancer Survivor
Founder/Designer of Hāz for Hope Note Cards