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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

I have to give my husband credit for inspiring this blog post.  He was smart to recognize that our family needed an adventure before I had surgery on November 11 (more on that in a bit).  Now, I have to take credit for "training" Steve on becoming the excellent event and travel planner that he is - he's become quite savvy with finding on-line deals!

On Saturday morning, November 7, we grabbed our backpacks and walked down to the train station and journeyed to Williamsburg. Our train was delayed, but luckily, the kids got to see 3 other trains come through the station, including the huge Superliner, Auto Train coming up from Florida.  Once we got on the train, the delays continued (we arrived in Williamsburg about 90 minutes late), but thankfully, we packed some light-weight books and the Cafe Car had the mysterious allure that made the kids feel like they were heading to Hogwarts! 

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Since we arrived in Williamsburg at lunchtime, we headed right to the Merchant Square area (Duke of Gloucester Street) and had lunch at the DOG Street Pub. Lots of good options on the menu.  Then, we headed to our hotel to unload our backpacks - we stayed at the Williamsburg Lodge.  This is a great place for families to stay as it's close to everything and the shuttle bus that connects you to all the pertinent landmarks stops right at the hotel.  I plan to return with my mom and sister to take full advantage of their awesome spa.  It was a rainy day, but we didn't let that stop us!  I enjoyed showing the kids my father's alma mater, The College of William & Mary.

IMG_20151107_153936.jpgThe kids with W&M founder, James Blair     IMG_20151107_155328.jpgGrandpa spent LOTS of time in this stadium.

We walked around quite a bit, which was good exercise for me as I prepared for my surgery.  On November 11, I had a full hysterectomy - everything was removed.  In roughly 2 hours, my gynecologists, oncologists, and team of nurses eradicated the possibility of future GYN cancers.  My recovery is going well.  Of course, recovery is both physicial and emotional.

Have I had moments of hormonal rage?  Absolutely.  Am I sad that I will never be pregnant and birth a child again?  Well, it depends if I'm in a hormonal rage.  However, over the past year or so, I've come to recognize that the journey Steve and I've been on led us to the gifts of our children and I'm so very grateful for them.  They are our joy and our blessing.

"If you are grateful for everything, then whatever you have is enough." --J. Baadsgaard

Our trip to Williamsburg, even with its moments of time-outs, whining, and fatigue, was absolutely the best reminder for me to be content with all that I have and all that I am.  On Sunday, we participated in Colonial Williamsburg's Honoring Service to America Veterans celebration, so the feelings of gratitude were all around.  

IMG_20151108_105206.jpgGovernor's Palace Garden Maze     IMG_20151108_130418.jpgA Colonial Time-Out

When the weekend was over, we walked back to the station to catch our train home to Fredericksburg.  The station was filled with friends and family saying good-bye to one another, including college sweethearts that reminded Steve and me of our younger days.  It was evident from the energy in that station that we had all shared times with one another and were so happy for it.

I hope that during this holiday season you have the opportunity to reflect on the past, savor the present, and not worry about the future.  And, look for me and my crew - we just may be backpacking in your neighborhood sometime soon.  xoxo

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