The three of us (Sara, Phyllis and Sam) drove to La Posada in Green Valley, south of Tucson, on May 26th. We had two birthdays to celebrate with fellow cancer survivors, all survivors of one form or another...Leukemia, Colon, Prostate, Basel Cell Melanoma, gathering for a celebration of Phyllis and Sara’s birthdays and the sheer joy of being together.
Our hosts, Margaret Ann, Tim, and Doug, have resided in La Posada about ten years. The grounds consist of medical facilities, independent and assisted living and memory care -- Seven hundred residents on over one-hundred acres of oasis, complete with Butterfly, Japanese, Meditation, (even) vegetable gardens, Pecan groves and a Labyrinth centered with the music of an air harp.
We met at Posada Java for coffee to get acquainted since we had not met Tim (Doug and Margaret Ann’s son). They had not met fellow writer, Sara. So the six of us enjoyed gift giving in the patio shade. We gave Doug and Margaret Ann a case of Negra Modelo. We celebrated Doug’s return from a week in the hospital. All is well!
After coffee, we rode a tram to their quiet apartment where we shared individual survival stories.
Since October 2015, Sara has gone through intensive, aggressive chemo treatment for Leukemia. I’m happy to report she’s in remission and June will be her last month of infusion therapy. July, she gifts herself by trailering to the cool climate of Washington State to return to Arizona in November thereby making her an official snowbird.
Now in his tenth decade, Doug survived thirty-three bombing missions over Germany as a tail gunner in a B-17. He also survived teaching middle school children(!) and finished his career as vice-principal of Cholla High School in Tucson! Oh, and he survived Colorectal cancer.
Margaret Ann is the poet/writer/recorder of her family history. She and Tim put this whole venture together.
Tim provided gifts of chocolate cakes for the two Birthday girls…
Sam and Phyllis (She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed) at La Posada. Had this been two years ago while I was using absorbents-- and leaking continuously -- I wouldn’t have considered going on this trip for fear of leaking. I would have missed out on the gathering. I would have missed out on the two chocolate birthday cakes. However, on this day, I was confident that my Men’s Liberty external catheter would handle any “accidents”. The catheter didn’t let me down. So you see: This seems like just a normal little vacation trip. Nothing out of the ordinary. Nothing, that is until we’ve shared our survival stories. Then, we share our gifts of each other knowing just how precious our lives are…
A special thanks to Men’s Liberty’s Research and Development for a product that allows me to participate in festivities! Wendy, Lynette, Tony: I include you as part of my extended family.