Saturday, October 17, 2015

Dream Comes True

Forgive me, friends.  It’s been over five months since my last blog post.  Until now, I really haven’t had much to say.  Jeff and I have been working long hours to get ready for our long-awaited trip to southern Italy and my follow up doctor appointments are now 4-6 months apart (Yay!)
Because of your support and prayers, a few doctors, and God who decided I had some unfinished business to tend to, I'm here to tell you about a dream of mine that recently came true.  

* If you go to the blog archive on the right side of the page, find August 2013 and click on "Bucket List", you'll see a blog entry with my bucket list.  I tried to create a hyperlink so you can click on it, but isn't cooperating.

Five years ago, after reading Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes, I searched online for trips to Italy.  There were websites inviting boring geriatrics to hop aboard a huge bus and see all of the ruins.  Not for us, I thought, but could Jeff and I actually find our way around the country alone to see all of the fabulous sites?   Would we actually be able to navigate the Amalfi Coast Drive, which is a Unesco World Wonder in itself?!
The answer came in the next click.  A photo of Stephanie Chance, an exotic beauty, was sitting atop a Vespa with shopping bags in tow. Above it said, “Hop aboard with us and see Italy-two tours a year!”   The more I clicked, the more I knew that this was the perfect tour for us.  I showed Jeff photos of her small tour group having dinner with an Italian family!!  I immediately e-mailed Stephanie asking for more information. She mailed me a brochure and I opened it often, dreaming of a day we could go.  “Maybe when Jordan is out of college,” Jeff said.   At that time, he had just graduated from high school. 
Stephanie and I became friends on Facebook and I relished looking at her photos from her twice a year excursions.  Days turned into weeks. Weeks turned into months. Months became three years.   Then came D-Day, the day I was diagnosed with stage IIB Invasive Ductal Carcinoma.   Soon after, I began this blog where Stephanie kept up with my treatment, my family,  the undeniable hell of surgery, chemo, and radiation, and my gratitude I tried to find in it all.  
About a year after my last radiation treatment and I started feeling human again, I said to Jeff, “Let’s do it. Let’s go on Stephanie’s trip to southern Italy!  Like having children, if we wait until we can afford it, we’ll never go!”   What I thought but don’t think I said was, “What if the cancer comes back and I’m too sick to go?” 

For decades, Jeff and I have dreamed of going to Italy, specifically the Amalfi Coast and Venice.    Although we didn't see Venice this time (that will be our NEXT trip!), the Amalfi Coast was our last stop on a 12 day adventure this month!   
For almost two years, I've stared at a painting of Amalfi, Italy hanging in my office and dreamed of the day we would stand on that coast and have our photo taken in that exact location.  Well, here it is: 
The painting in my office

                                   Can you find us?
The Amalfi Coast Drive- Mamma Mia!

                                                  Jeff and me on the beautiful Amalfi Coast
Positano-my new favorite place on earth!

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