- To my Lord Jesus and Father God for keeping me going each day and somehow always providing for all my needs
- My family and friends for their unwavering love and support.
- To the entire team at Sarah Cannon Research Institute / Tennessee Oncology / Sarah Cannon Center for Blood Cancers for helping start to beat this wretched leukemia into retreat.
- To all my new friends and family at Middle Tennessee Camp Bluebird for their cheer, support and love.
It has been almost exactly a week to the hour since I pulled up into the parking lot as a Camp Bluebird newbie. Since my diagnosis over two years ago, I’d not checked out any peer support beyond a few phone calls from LLS First Connection program. One of those callers, Nancy told me about Camp Bluebird and told me I really should come. I missed my first opportunity but did go to the recent fall 2013 gathering. I can’t say enough good things about it. It’s hard to explain but being near and having fun with so many others who are also fighting against and winning against cancer was the ultimate empower-er. That’s all of us above; I’m in the back row almost all the way to the left in the picture. About half are cancer survivors. The other half are volunteers. I love these people for who they are and what they’re doing.
Lesson learned. Surviving cancer with your sanity isn’t a game for lone rangers.
|I just spent a full weekend with about 50 cancer survivors and about that many more volunteers via a non-profit program called Camp Bluebird. We attended a camp style retreat at a massive 320 acre campground on the shores of J. Percy Priest Lake in Nashville. I truly had no idea what to expect before getting there 2 days ago and I could probably write volumes about the things we did, the people I met and shared with; the environment was so loving, healing and warm. I had a wonderful time and my extended family unexpectedly grew much larger this weekend.|
|I’m still not sure who Mufasa is but he’s watching!|
|Near the end of our time together, we honored and remembered the fallen with a massive balloon release. Teary eyes were not in short supply.|
I can’t wait for the Spring 2014 camp in April.
It’s that time campers… I am headed off to my first weekend retreat just for adults with cancer. That still weirds me out on many levels. It promises to be a life changing weekend but my inner shy boy is still looking for a way out. I truly have no idea what to expect but know I have to let my usual guard down and just immerse..
I got my welcome package in the mail the other day for the Fall session of Camp Bluebird. It promises to be unlike anything I have ever done before. It will be a 3 day retreat with other adult cancer patients. In general, I’ve noticed most people just don’t want to talk about cancer. It will be refreshing and encouraging to be around some new friends who do and can talk about it. Living is a choice but living with cancer is also a journey, one nobody chooses.
Tomorrow begins a new 28 day cycle (#2) for me in my clinical trial. I’ll be treated to a full day of hourly blood draws and ekg tests. It’s really not that bad; the blood draws come from an IV and the ekgs don’t hurt but it’ll still be a long 9-10 hour day at the Sarah Cannon DDU. They’re taking really great care of me and with any luck, we’ll get to see the Bread Lady again. Sheila’s already craving her goodies! 🙂
I also sent in my application today for Camp Bluebird; a special twice a year retreat for adult cancer patients. I am really looking forward to meeting and spending time with others who are also sharing this journey.