Part of being at FD camp is a nightly campfire where we wrap down the day. Last night Mateao (cancer survivor) posed the question: what has cancer given to you? what has it taken? People took turns as they shared the lessons that they learned, positive and challenging, from their cancer experiences- a series of short stories that blended and intertwined, amounting in a healthy dose of practical life knowledge.
It is easy to get caught up in the future- trading in being present in a moment to “what ifs” coming down the pipe. Along the same lines, that pace of life allows you to fly past other people and take things for granted. Listening to the stories of my new friends, I heard the reoccurring theme of gratitude, acceptance and mindfulness. This translates to taking life one day at a time. Accepting (instead of judging) the people around you, which allows for opportunities to be open, compassionate and thoughtful as a person. And, most importantly, living in the exact moment that you are in, instead of allowing your mind to dwell on the past or over plan your future.
Without experiencing it, cancer has given me a lot: opportunities like FD and Imerman Angels, and the stories of my new friends that I hope I’ll be able to share with others in the cancer community.
Another great night at FD-
Today was all about practicing escape tactics: wet escapes and rolls in the kayak. After breakfast from our camp “moms” and the gear hookup, it was time to hit the water and prepare for tomorrow on the river. A few people were a little nervous at first to take off in the kayaks and, especially, to turn upside down. I heard more than one “we are cancer survivors, we can get through anything!” That’s what FD is all about! A water polo game and 500 pictures later it was a wrap.
Here are a few of my favorite pictures from today:
Join Across the Table and Imerman Angels at Nella Pizzeria for a delicious dinner and a conversation about our experiences with the differences between sympathy and empathy. Across the Table is a non-profit organization that bridges gaps between our diverse communities by uniting Chicagoans from many different backgrounds and perspectives for delicious meals and dynamic, topic-focused, facilitated conversations. Dinners are always limited to ten people to insure that the groups are cohesive and personable so don’t miss out, sign up to join us for dinner today!
Details: Tuesday, August 10th from 6:30 to 9:00 PM at Nella Pizzeria
Topic of Conversation: How have we experienced the differences between sympathy and empathy? Can we effectively support someone when we haven’t experienced the same challenges?
For more info. and to register go to: www.acrossthetable.org.
||Children’s Oncology Services, Inc. (COSI) believes that a diagnosis of cancer should not prevent a child from experiencing the simple joys of childhood.
Through the One Step At A Time programs, COSI offers camp experiences and other educational and excursion programs throughout the year that allow children with cancer to just be kids. Our programs offer fun, friendship and support in a safe and nurturing environment.