Hope Baldi, Survivor since 2013
The Story of Hope – My story
At the age of 47, just a week shy of my 48th birthday and after a recent annual visit for a routine mammogram, I received a call that changed my life forever; some concerning areas had been found in my left breast. A doctor’s appointment, biopsies and many head-spinning conversations later, I was left with a diagnosis of Invasive Breast Cancer.
As many others in my place who can understand, I was in complete denial, worried, scared, stressed and wondering about my future….would there even be a future. I was assured, of course, that there would be, but your mind can play nasty tricks on you during a time like this.
On October 30th, 2013 – The same night the Sox won the World Series! – I underwent breast surgery to remove all malignancies. This was followed by 5 rounds of Chemotherapy and 6 weeks of radiation and a whole lot exhaustion. My mother had battled breast cancer just 5 years earlier so I learned how to be positive and optimistic not only for myself, but for my loved ones as well.
As some of us understand, a breast cancer diagnosis and the individual routes to treatment are not a “one cure fixes all”, however, positivity and upbeat outlooks are the only healthy ways that most families can deal with the day to day healing plans and recovery roads. My close family and friends were my strength. I was overwhelmed by the support and love given to my daughter, my husband and myself. I will never forget the outpouring of friendship, family, kindness and generosity bestowed upon us by so many; it still brings tears to my eyes and a huge smile to my face. Meals, phone calls, packages, flowers to our home, cards, gifts and visits or planned events out with conversation and laughter when I needed it most kept me busy and distracted and I couldn’t have been more grateful. I still laugh as I recall acting like a kid on Christmas waiting for the mail carrier to see what might possibly arrive to make me smile. On difficult days, when I was feeling down or tired, these wonderful moments or tokens of love and kindness were there to remind me that life was a gift and I was going to continue to live it as fully as possible.
I will never forget the many people who hold a very special place in my heart; all of my medical doctors and nurses along with the teams of people who took care of me both at Beth Israel Boston and Dana Farber. I trusted them with my life as they pulled me through this difficult time with their expertise, skill and graciousness. They are the true heroes of my survival and I am forever humbled.
It is an honor to be part of the R4R; It is especially meaningful as I am participating with my daughter, Kate and celebrating both 5 years of recovery for me and 10 years of recovery for my mother, Faith. I am excited and privileged to be walking – celebrating everyone’s personal journey on the road to breast cancer treatment, recovery and survival.