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Gin Schaffer is a former higher education administrator and works part-time at MWHC's Regional Cancer Center as the Coordinator of Integrative Medicine. She lives in downtown Fredericksburg and enjoys walking and biking with her husband and 2 kids (especially if coffee is involved).



Pink Ribbon Journey

A little while ago, Steve, the kids, and I were heading out to meet up with some friends and we all got in a huge argument.  It was a dash of Steve not really wanting to go, add in the kids not really feeling comfortable with where we were going, and throw in me being a raging breast cancer survivor who just started hormone-replacement-therapy.  I really felt like the whole family was plotting against me and I just lost it.  The argument ended with me asking (o.k. begging/demanding) for them to attend this "playdate" for me.  I felt bad about it and I was thankful that they kept it together when we met up with our friends.

Later that night, Steve and I had a chance to talk about the fight.  I said some pretty mean things that definitely warranted an apology and he too recognized the role he played in escalating the argument.  I wanted to blame my outburst on the medications, but I also knew I was struggling with my identities changing and shifting ever-so rapidly.  Mother, wife, patient, volunteer, daughter, sister, and employee(?).  As we were talking, Steve said something that really got my attention and has stuck with me to this day.  He said, "I'm a work in progress too, you know."

I try to write in my journal daily, write blog posts, and seek out my support networks regulary, but Steve goes and sums life up beautifully in one sentence!

This past week, we've had a lot of our "work" to celebrate.  We celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary and 20th college reunion at Mary Washington.  I was nervous for the reunion, the anticipation of seeing people from the distant past coupled with my ability to feel and be crappy at the drop of a hat was just a little scary.  But, then I remembered what Steve said and I felt comforted by the knowledge that everyone is a "work in progress" - even if they don't know it!

11312600_10153416077076289_9070515572836794655_o.jpgCelebrating 17th Wedding Anniversary at UMW Reunion Weekend

img037.jpgFall 1994, Monroe Hall, MWC

Next week, we move into what will be our long-term work project - a new house.  Steve and I have been HGTV and This Old House addicts for quite some time; this house will give us our biggest homeowning challenge and hopefully, the last.  It's amazing how much those DIY shows influence you - our selection of bathroom tile sounded like an existential crisis and the discussion of how white we wanted a white wall versus a white cabinet was mind-numbing!  Steve has done a tremendous amount of work on the house and even though we still have lots to do, that's o.k.  I'm enjoying this renovation challenge with him and giving this gift to ourselves and the kids is priceless.

I hope that whatever you have going on in your lives, you recognize that being a work in progress means you are still learning and growing and that's a beautiful thing.  Remember, be patient -  "It's about the journey, not the destination."

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Pouches' Community Corner

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