A few thoughts after the 2012 Stowe Weekend of Hope.
1 – On Friday morning, as the 3-day conference got going, a group of cancer survivors and I took a walk along the Stowe Rec Path. About 20 people braved the morning fog and mist to come along. They were a great group, and we walked for about an hour before we went indoors to our second location to do some more exercise and to talk more about the benefits of exercise to cancer survivors.
2 – I sometimes learn more than I teach. During the walk, I felt humbled by the strength and courage of the cancer survivors that I met. So many people have a great attitude for themselves about their challenge with the disease of cancer. I met people who were devoted to exercise, despite being in chemo or having other treatment-related challenges. I learned never to assume that people aren’t motivated enough to exercise: so many people have gotten the message that exercise helps them feel better and heal better. Wonderful.
3 – At the health fair, Saturday, I spoke to people about my book all day. I also listened and talked about how people were coping with their treatments and prognoses. Again, it’s more humbling than not. I appreciate people putting their trust in me when we speak. I also learned that “selling my book” isn’t entirely natural for me. I’m just not very slick.
4 – Five years is quite a bit of time. I’ve been a cancer survivor for five years. It isn’t very hard to remember what it was like to be bald, scared, treated with drugs and surgery, and living in the cancer “bubble” where normal life seems like it’s held at a distance. But it’s a little bit hard to remember all that–until I’m speaking with someone in the middle of it, and then it all comes back pretty clearly. And then, I hope to be someone who is a good cancer survivor who gives someone else hope.
5 – Our stories are all different. But at some level, our stories are all the same. Wishing you each peace on journey and strength on your path. – Nancy