Who's Counting?

My name is Jamie Hoffpauir. I was born on June 20, 1967. I have been on God’s green earth for 18,474 days. I grew up on the west side of Cincinnati, the first-born child of Barb and Jim Phillipps. I have a brother, Jerrod, who is three years younger than me. I graduated from Oak Hills High School in 1985, the University of Cincinnati in 1989 and Tulane University in 1990. I moved to Fort Thomas, KY, in 1994 and after a series of twists and turns, I now live in Bellevue, Kentucky. I have two children: a daughter, Madison (20) and a son, Jack (16). I am fortunate to be married (2015) to my best friend, Gregg, and have two stepsons, Leopold (19) and Louis (15). I have been self-employed since 2005.  

I thank the lord every day for the health of my parents and crazy blended family.   

On January 16, 2001, I learned that I was diagnosed with a Stage-3, ER- PR- Her2+ cancer. I was 33 years old and 22 weeks pregnant with my son, Jack. Over the course of 18 months, I had six surgeries; seven weeks of daily radiation; four rounds of Adriamycin and Cytoxan; 12 weeks of Taxol; and 36 weeks of Herceptin.  Even after all that poison, Jack was born perfectly healthy.    

I cringe when I hear cancer warriors say that having cancer was the best thing that ever happened to them. For me, nothing could be further from the truth—that breast cancer was an unpredictable, unwelcome intruder that ripped through the door to my soul like a killer with no remorse.  

Today, 6,209 days later, I am here to tell you that not one cancer cell has dared to knock on my door.

 Did you know...

According to U.S. breast cancer statistics (http://www.breastcancer.org/about_us):

  • As of January 2018, there are more than 3.1 million women with a history of breast cancer in the U.S. This includes women currently being treated and women who have finished treatment.

  • For women in the U.S., breast cancer death rates are higher than those for any other cancer except lung cancer.

  • Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women. In 2017, it's estimated that about 30% of newly diagnosed cancers in women will be breast cancer.

But here’s a lifesaving statistic: 

According to the Harvard Nurses' Health Study, moderate daily exercise can decrease your risk of breast cancer recurrence and increase breast cancer survival rates both by 50% (“Physical Activity and Survival After Breast Cancer Diagnosis,” Dr. Michelle Holmes, Harvard Nurses’ Health Study).

 As I said, I am 50 years old and for 576 days, now, I have been moping around about the fact that I am 50 years old. I wake up plagued and paralyzed by that number—50 is not nifty!

 A few weeks ago, I was singing the blues about my age when one of my friends said, very bluntly, “Well, you are alive, aren’t you?” 

She’s right. Who’s counting? 50 is just a number.  

“It is not the years in your life but the life in your years that counts.” —Adlai E. Stevenson