So, as I mentioned in a previous post... that if people want to give you gifts, bring you food, send you money, or even host a fundraiser - let them. For me, it is uncomfortable taking money from family and friends but that doesn't mean I am not extremely grateful for these people who take time out of their day, and money out of their pocket - just for me. This has been a heartwarming experience, to say the least. I think the biggest shocker of them all - has been the strangers that are offering gifts, time and their money - to someone that they don't know.
Photo: (L) Shelly and (R) Paula
This past weekend, one of my very best friends, Paula, hosted a benefit in my name. Her creative talents and dedication proved to offer a successful event! Some might have had reservations about the choice of venue for a benefit, since often times they are held at a restaurant or in a bar, but she held this one at Crossfit Exalt - a workout gym.... a unique idea indeed. While some chose to participate in the short workout (once every hour), the others chose to watch - which offered great entertainment.
Paula and all the volunteers that tirelessly helped put on this benefit (including my sister Linda), also attained dozens of fantastic prizes that were raffled off - and many attendees went home very happy! ... which makes me happy!
I haven't started Chemo yet so I am glad I was able to attend the benefit and personally give my thanks to everyone that stopped by. The feelings of gratitude are quite overwhelming. At the start of the event, I was wearing a sign pinned to my shirt that read "Please no hugs, I hurt"... but ended up removing it and just being very careful. I am happy that I don't actually look like I have cancer or that I have just had a double mastectomy, but the truth is that I am still recovering from the surgery. I rarely have the need for a pain pill, but am still uncomfortable being touched anywhere above the waist. My arms, especially the right arm that had all the lymph nodes removed, feels tingly and uncomfortable when touched.
The event offered music, a buffet of food that was mostly donated by our generous local grocers, including Spera's (one of our favorite little markets), an optional workout, led by the owners of Crossfit Exalt, a plethora of raffle baskets, a 50/50 raffle, a Labatt beer tasting tent, and tons of smiling faces!
I have been forewarned that there will be days during chemo that I will wish to give up. I am so so happy to say that I now have this incredible day to remember - during my worst days to come.
From the bottom of my heart, I thank everyone who helped and attended.
Click any photo for a slideshow view.