Then I thought that maybe I could share with others about some of what I've gone through, and maybe this would be helpful. Besides, Geo and I could use a weekend get-away after a very long winter. So we signed up and packed our bags.
There was a huge banner over the main road in Stowe, VT to welcome the participants. There were many signs in town about the event.
I learned that the Stowe Weekend of Hope has been happening for 18 years and draws people from many states and even Canada.
After registration, we checked into our hotel. Our room had a deck with a view of the river. Wow!
The schedule, beginning early on Friday, included a selection of presentations, activities, and entertainment.
I chose an art activity that was held up the road at the Von Trapp Family Lodge. We were shown how to do an etching with a pencil on styrofoam, color it with markers, then transfer the picture to dampened water color paper. This was a fun project that anyone could do.
While I was here, I took a walk to enjoy the views. I had been here before, but I had never seen the grave site where the Von Trapps are buried.
Back at the main venue, there was a group gathered for hula hooping. I was surprised I could still do this after all these years!
Entertainment during the day included The Boobie Sisters, and they were hilarious. From New York state, they are all breast cancer survivors who share their stories with song and a lot of humor. They had everyone smiling and laughing about a cancer diagnosis and the changes it brings into patients' lives and of their families.
Another event I truly enjoyed was the "Survivors Walk" on the Stowe Rec Path. The views along the way were stunning, and it was an opportunity to meet and get to know others. We shared about where we were from, the diagnosis we had and the treatments. I found there were many similarities in how we felt about it all, even though diagnoses were so different. And it was so good just to be out in nature and enjoying the fresh air, the fields, the river, the mountains. The signs of Spring are finally happening here in Vermont.
Would I do this again? Absolutely. And I think I'll invite other cancer survivors I know. It was an opportunity to continue to process what can be an overwhelming experience, to meet new people, and just have a lot of fun along the way.