joomla counter

Gin headshot

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

Is your summer fading fast like mine?  I just re-read my last post, Working at Life, Inc., an ironic reminder for me to appreciate each day for what it is and breathe, oh and don't waste time drinking bad coffee.

Since that last post, we moved into our new home.  It hasn't been the HGTV dream I had hoped for, but I'm still very much in love with this house and our neighborhood.  Our movers came late, as in 6 hours late and were in the home until 3am.  Then, as the summer weather became wacky in all its monsoon glory, our new home began to show its faults.  Leaks in the roof, water in the basement - all of a sudden those desired renovation projects we had in mind took a drastic turn.  And meanwhile, playing on the This Old House channel, we were notified that yes, your oil tank does need to be removed (soil samples were determined unsafe by VA-EPA).  Check this sucker out!

IMG_20150625_100409.jpgI can't believe that was under my house!

On June 17th, our son's 7th birthday, we got a call from Steve's sister.  We figured it was the annual, call from the family, singing "Happy Birthday", etc. but it wasn't.  Sadly, my sister-in-law was informing me that Steve's brother had a seizure and the brain injury and subseqent bleeding were severe; he died on June 18th.  Everything just stopped.

In that moment, watching Steve head to Pittsburgh for his brother's funeral, it was hard not to be sad and angry.  Steve has had a whirlwind of stress and grief thrown at him since August, 2013, really even earlier than that (both of his parents are deceased).  I struggle knowing that my cancer was a part of that and although I know I wasn't to blame for getting sick, I sometimes wish I could give him this past year back - among other things.  I know how badly he wants to make this house a home - our ducks really need to find their row soon!

When my mom and sister accompanied me to The Today Show in October, 2014, I was just about to end the really tough chemotherapy portion of my treatment plan.  I told them that what I really wanted at the end of my treatment was for us to all go to a beach house in the Outer Banks.  We hadn't done something like that since my sister and I were teenagers and I thought it was the perfect way to celebrate my hopeful remission (and my mom's birthday).

We stayed at a great house, on the beach during July 4th week.  We didn't see one shark (thankfully), but we did see plenty of dolphins!  This vacation was exactly what I had envisioned - everyone truly relaxed and decompressed.  I owe so much of my recovery journey to my mother - she's a real gem!  It was exciting coming back from the beach knowing that this was the week that I would celebrate my very last infusion treatment.  I've been in that chair from July 2014 until July 2015.

IMG_20150630_132034.jpgSara Ann - Mother to All

IMG_20150704_130748.jpgNags Head, NC - July 4, 2015

A year ago, I was out-of-my-mind scared at the road I had ahead of me.  Each and every one of us has different paths with various obstacles to face.  Remember Nelson Mandela's words, "It Always Seems Impossible Until It's Done."  Now, Go Ring That Bell!


IMG_20150710_145309.jpgTeam Gin!


User Rating: 0 / 5

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Share this

Follow us

Pouches' Community Corner

Trains, Planes and Automobiles Kids' Race Series


From a small beginning, Cathy Weise of the Ron Rosner YMCA has developed an ambitious three-race series for kids for this summer, with the help of The Great Train Race, Shannon Airport, Dominion Raceway & Entertainment, the Fredericksburg Area Service League and Race Timing Unlimited.

Great Train Race Director Jennifer Taylor was one of the first on board.