Say Yes

Cancer.  We all remember the how and where we heard about diagnosis.  For me, it was December 16, 2019 via MyChart at a basketball game.  As I like to say, I was ready for 2020 to be done before it started, it just took the rest of the world a bit longer to catch up.  I started 16 rounds of chemo, followed by more surgeries and radiation, on March 5, 2020, and as my immune system plummeted, the world isolated with me.

I finished active treatment, ready to take on the world and be grateful for the life I had been given back, but scared to get COVID.  The world had changed as my journey had changed me.  In-person support groups were not a thing.  Survivorship was hard.  I went down a late-night Google rabbit hole, looking for opportunities to live life, with people who got it, but also be safe.  Having spent nearly 20 years volunteering for a children’s cancer camp, I wondered if such a thing existed for adults?  Enter Epic Experience.  While in-person camps were not yet a thing, virtual support from afar was so helpful to me!

In Winter 2023, my opportunity for in-person winter camp came up.  I was so nervous.  Would I fit in?  Could I do it physically?  Who has this many winter clothes?  From the moment I arrived at Camp, I lived one once in a lifetime experience after another.  Mama Lou challenged us to say “Yes” to every opportunity.  I took that to heart.  I met a group of people who were so supportive and fun.  They helped me to find some emotional healing along with the physical boundaries I was pushing.  I laughed hard, I smiled from ear to ear, and I proved to myself: I. Can. Live.  One day, I fell (or more accurately belly flopped), I had my moment of feeling sorry for myself, but more importantly I hopped back up and had more fun.  I was ok, and life would be too.

I now have a family I know I can trust to send cancer appointment updates or sassy memes, and they will get both.  I know if I need a hug, this group will be there.  I also cannot help but smile every time I talk about my experience.

If you are considering going to or supporting Epic Experience and have any doubts, do it!

-Missy aka “Plato”