Exposing Hope 2017 | Judy Hyman

“My thesaurus lists some synonyms for the word HOPE: confidence, optimism, faith.  After a while, I had confidence I would survive and I was optimistic about the future.  I have always been sustained by family, friends, and faith.”

As a single mom of 3 young children and a middle school counselor, it’s clear that Judy Hyman spent her days supporting and caring for others.  Diagnosed at 41, it’s hard to imagine the emotions Judy must have endured, especially as a single mom and knowing two of her aunts passed from breast cancer in their 40’s.  She took life’s lemons and started making lemonade, just as she’d witnessed her parents do, and was back at school within three weeks of her diagnosis.  Judy had several rounds of chemotherapy over the course of eleven months on Friday afternoons so that she had the weekend to recover from nausea and weakness.

The same year of her diagnosis and treatment, two of her students’ mothers were also diagnosed with breast cancer.  She provided tireless support to these students and was the epitome of hope for their mothers.  While making lemonade, Judy counted each passing year with gratitude, and when she reached 5 years as a survivor, she shared her news with everyone.  

Judy is a forty-two-year survivor and celebrates each year not wanting to forget but to be grateful.  She shared, “It is not happiness that makes us grateful, it’s gratefulness that makes us happy.”

Exposing Hope 2017 | Judy Bell

“Hope is harmony, opportunity, peace, and existence.”

Exposing Hope with Judy Bell reveals a philosophical lady with profound thoughts on her journey.  She shares, in her words, the elements which depict hope.  “Harmony exists with friendship, fellowship, cooperation, and understanding.  All of these contribute to being in harmony with myself and others.  It also involves getting along with friends and the ability to form new harmonious relationships.”

Judy continues to reveal another element in defining hope: opportunity. “Opportunity gives us the circumstances that make it possible to have a new lease on life.  I try to see the things that are important to me and pursue those opportunities to help myself and others.  These opportunities help produce challenges and mostly positive results.”

Survivors share stories of peace and Judy describes it very eloquently. “Peace comes from hope to have freedom from disturbance with quiet and tranquility.  This can be achieved by me through meditation, gardening, and walking.  These activities produce calmness and tranquility.  Peace also means freedom from or the cessation of war within my body and the hope to remain cancer free.”

One more component in her vision of hope is existence.  “Existence is the state of living with continued survival.  Having had cancer, continued survival is very important to me.  It is an actuality and existing reality that has affected my way of living.” 

Judy shared, “HOPE produces a desire for a relatively stable equilibrium with Harmony, Opportunity, Peace, and Existence.  All these play a part in contributing to HOPE with a feeling of expectation and HOPE for the best for a life filled with these positive things.”

As a breast cancer survivor, Judy openly shared the impact of her journey and particularly the positive.  She is acutely aware of the importance of healthy living through nutrition, socialization, mental stimulation, spirituality, and physical activity.  Judy also shared the importance of making a positive impact through supporting others.

Judy Bell is a five-year survivor.

Exposing Hope 2017 | Janice Rogers

“Hope means something to look forward to.  Having a goal and trying to reach that goal.  It is something money can not buy, but love, strength and perseverance can.  It’s when something you want happens to you or someone you care about, and that something brings about a positive change in that person’s life.  Hope has a positive outcome on our life.”

Janice Rogers shared that she has always been a contributor to finding a cure for breast cancer.  After her diagnosis, her drive to find an earlier test became personal.  She believes that cancer is such an ugly word, and it robs an individual of who they once were.  However it could never take away how a person feels, loves, and praises God. 

Janice thanks God every day for giving her the strength to move forward and for the insight to forget the little things that don’t matter.  When Janice is faced with a life challenge she prays to ask God to get her through. 

She recognizes just how lucky she is to call herself a four-year survivor.

Exposing Hope 2017 | Jane Matteson

“When I hear the word hope, I think most immediately and profoundly of family and friends.  I had a rich core of support with my son, and my sisters, and ever present friends who surrounded me throughout my treatment.  I can’t remember ever NOT having hope, having come from a family with a belief system grounded in the strength of the human spirit.”

Jane Matteson shared that her humor and hope very well might have been her “sword and buckler”.  She found herself surrounded by family, friends and a community that constantly provided love and support.  She recalls so many who embraced her journey from her family, friends, familiar faces at CVS and Harris Teeter.  Some of her strongest support came from a very special gentleman, Dr. Gus Magrinat.  Jane wholeheartedly expressed that “Dr. Gus was a talisman of hope for all my family and continues to be!”  Jane recognized that returning the sense of hope to others who cared for her as well, as those she met along the way, was important.  

Life has impacted Jane in a profound way.  Meaningful communication with family and friends, enjoying nature and taking time to watch the sun set are experiences she values more now.  She’s also found that listening to and truly hearing others, especially those who share a particular experience in life has become important.

Jane is a three year survivor.