Home again, Home again, Jiggidy Jig

My July trips have been wonderful and yielded memories I shall never forget.  My week at the beach was so relaxing.  It was especially nice to be there with my hubby, who deserved a vacation so much.  I also loved spending time with my sister and brother-in-law and dog rescue buddy and friend, Roberta.  My idea of a fun day is hanging out on the beach, finding treasures in thrift shops, and eating fresh seafood and I did it all.  I returned home for 2 nights and then traveled to my alma mater for more fun.  In April, I had the most surprising 60th birthday surprise dinner.  For those of you that know me well know that surprising me is not an easy task.  I come from a long line of curious women…where we peeped out of the blinds every time we heard a car ride by our house.  This birthday was truly a special one because I was alive to be here.  No words can explain the miracle of that.  It had also been 6 years since my initial diagnosis.  It was incredible to see those that I love so much take the time to celebrate with me.  Blessings have a way of continuing and I had the blessing of paying this gift forward this week when I took my friend, Beth, on a mystery surprise trip to our “roots.”  Beth and I met at Camp Easter-in-the-Pines when we were camp counselors in the 70’s.  The camp was for children and adults with disabilities.  We both were students at UNC-Chapel Hill and continued our friendship there and here in Charlotte when we both left our small towns of Saxapahaw and Snow Hill.  We worked at the same agency for many years and lived together.  If any of you have ever worked at a camp you know that you become very bonded as a staff there and we all certainly did.  Many of us traveled together and those of us at UNC formed a youth group on campus to continue our desire to promote services for children and adults.  The camp experience had a huge impact on us all.  Between just the 4 of us in the picture, we have continued to work in this field of service for more than 100 combined years as physical therapists, recreation therapists, special education teachers and case managers.  We had some crazy times, as you can imagine, during the ’70s (I was quite the hippie with my earth shoes and long hair).   Just in case you are thinking what a good job I do of staying in contact with those I love, let me assure you that is definitely a myth.  I have been terrible at this.  But, like many other things in my life since cancer, I have tried to change that.  So, I surprised Beth and arranged to meet some of our “old” buddies and we had a blast.  We ate at all the “old” places and it was fun to be able to afford to stay somewhere other than a dorm (thank you, groupon).  One of the things that always amazes me is the ability of some people to understand the emotions of being a survivor without experiencing cancer and these friends had such insight.  Of course it is impossible to understand the fear and pain and depth of emotions, but I have found that those that are willing to go there with us are such a comfort to me.  The best part of the mystery birthday event was seeing the happiness on the birthday girl’s face and I feel very fortunate to have that gift on a day that it wasn’t even my birthday!




  1. Cheryl Bannerman

    You write beautifully, Patsy! Have just found your blog through listserv and will be a follower from now on. I, too, am an OVCA survivor. Diagnosed 7-19-2011 by a not very compassionate internal medicine doctor. But from then on found wonderful caring professionals. My surgery was done on August 2, 2011 by a gyne onc followed by 18 weeks of chemo with intraperitoneal port. I was diagnosed as IIIC. I have been dancing with NED for 7 months now and hope to continue for a long time. I love NED!! Love and hope to you and all of our fellow survivors. I hope you continue with peace and healing on your journey for many more years!!


  2. Thank you, Cheryl. I hesitated writing a blog because I was concerned that my writing wasn’t up to the challenge, so I really appreciate the feedback. I am thrilled to hear you are dancing with NED (no evidence of disease). That is absolutely wonderful news!!!!!!


  3. Glad to find you! I was 3c grade 3and finished treatment 3 years ago in remission.
    I’m at http://aftercc.blogspot.co.uk/


    • I am sooo glad you found me so I could find you! Your blog is fantastic! I am really working hard on nutrition and it’s just what I needed. Do keep in touch, please.


      • How kind! I shall soon be blogging about my discovery of and recipes for raw chocolate – stuffed with antioxidants, minerals and vitamins and made with agarve nectar rather than sugar, so safe for those of us reluctant to use sugar as it is widely believed to ‘feed’ cancer.


  4. Phyllis Zellmer

    Patsy, you are the woman! The last time I was you was in the Infuaion Room late in the afternoon getting chemo and then facing a 7-hour drive to the beach. Loved the mystery birthday party. A friend sent me a story about being on a cruise celebrating a stranger’s birthday at their dinner table. Instead of the traditional birthday song (written by a teacher) the waiter’s sang “When You Walk Through a Storm.” I think this song is from Man of LaManche but I sang it in my high school Glee Club all the time. I’m thinking it could become our theme song! i must get more knowledgable about the diet. You have lots of good resources available on your blog site, Good Going!

    I wish you enough,


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