I know what you think this post is about. John Cougar. Or John Mellencamp. Or the Coug. I can’t really keep that guy’s name straight. But regardless. No. This is not the post for this:
Oh but ain’t that America, for you and me
Ain’t that America, we’re something to see baby
Ain’t that America, home of the free, yeah
Little pink houses for you and me, oh for you and me
I mean. I love the Coug. And I love that song. But today, I’m sharing with you some different Pink Houses. In fact, they are pink houses of hope. What could possible be better than houses of hope? I mean, I’m sure there are things. But isn’t hope just one of those things? Those really lovely things and thoughts and ideals. I sure think so.
I’ve been beyond lucky. Blessed. Fortunate. Charmed. Whatever word you want to use. I have been showered with goodness throughout my cancer journey. From the time I was in limbo, to the gathering stage, to diagnosis, and onward and upward, things have gone my way. I’ve gotten to feel the goodness. Receive goodness. Live goodness. And come to appreciate that even with everything, every person who seems bad… there is still SO MUCH GOOD. From opportunities to participate in sharing my story, to support from Nebraska Medicine, support from Susan G. Komen, support from the Cattlemen’s Ball, and on and on and on. And then, the people who are in my blog community, my friends, my tribe, my family… and random strangers. So. Many. People. So. Much. Goodness.
So, when I stumbled upon the link. The Little Pink Houses of Hope link. I saw my own dream. A way that I… a woman with peanuts from blogging for income… could thank my husband and my children for their unwavering commitment to me… his wife… their mother… over the last year. Because when I was going through diagnosis, and treatment and now, as I am on “the other side” holding my title of survivor, I think it’s so disproportionate. I get to be the survivor. But we alllllll survived. We all made it through the waves of treatments. The surgery and the recovery. The radiation. The whole journey. They’ve been right here. Right here with me. They have been my inspiration. And I wanted to say THANK YOU.
So, I looked through the pages. The website for Little Pink Houses of Hope. And it seemed too good to be true. A free week away. For my family and me. No strings attached. So, on a whim, I applied. As a friend of mine said, I used my cancer card. Because I could never afford a beach house for a week with my boys… all four of them. I could never pay for the beautiful, quaint destinations they were offering. And so… after a short questionnaire, I clicked submit. I felt a little guilty, honestly. I mean, even as a survivor, you don’t ever want something for free. You don’t want people taking pity on you. But then, I figured it was such a long shot, it didn’t even matter. I’ve had other little things almost happen along this journey that haven’t come to fruition so I was pretty certain a little Pink House retreat was never in our future.
And then. I got the email. That our family had been accepted. That the hubs and the boys and I would be gifted a week’s worth of lodging and food and activities in North Carolina. The only hiccup… we had to pay for the travel. Which, for a family of 5, is rather expensive these days. But the mr. and I talked through it… we were going to go on a trip, just the two of us, over Labor Day… because I so didn’t want to be in town during my diagnosis anniversary… but this would have to take precedence. This would take that budget. We wouldn’t make it to Cali this time around. We’d be taking the boys to Little Pink Houses. And it seemed like the right thing to do.
So what is Little Pink Houses of Hope? What are the retreats about? Well, I’m going to literally copy and paste from their website right here:
Mission: To promote breast cancer recovery by offering opportunities for survivors to reconnect and celebrate life.
Values: Creating hopeful experiences through fostering loving relationships in a non-judgmental environment.
Hopeful Experiences- our goal is to help foster family bonds through relaxed play and time away. We believe that individuals will have a chance to grow in their well being, relationships, nutrition, and spirit to help them in their cancer journey. We believe that at all stages of the cancer journey, it is not enough to survive, but rather to focus on thriving and celebrating life. We believe in having fun!!
Loving Relationships-our goal is to foster loving relationships by our words, actions, service, and connections. We believe that not only will families grow in love during our retreat weeks, but families will continue their Little Pink experience long after the retreats end.
Non-Judgmental Environment-our promise is to create an environment of acceptance among staff, volunstars, and participants. We believe that families come in all shapes and sizes. We do not discriminate based on race, sexual orientation, gender, disability, age, geographic location, or religion. Breast cancer affects everyone, and it is our mission to serve everyone who is on the journey. Cancer is the great equalizer- there is no room for judgment, only love and compassion.
So, in September, we will spend one week with other survivor families. Other families who either are going through treatment or are through treatment. Families who want the diagnosis to serve as a reminder that life is short and we must take the time that we have to create memories. We will stay and participate in a retreat that was the brainchild of a woman who went through and survived her own battle. And, to be perfectly honest, I am just thankful to have a way to say thank you to Adam.
We are trying to put together a trip for the spring, too. A trip where we will pay for our parents and Adam’s parents to go. That, we’re praying will come together. Some place tropical. Some place relaxing but adventurous. Some place the boys will love, too. Because while I know these people in our lives don’t require a thank you, I feel I must find ways to give them. Because gosh, life is short. And that’s never been more evident than now.
I am beyond thankful and excited about Little Pink Houses of Hope and our retreat. I am thankful that God has seen us through this battle and will give us time to reflect on this last year and thank him for how far we’ve all come together. And I can’t believe that once again, when I needed and wanted goodness it just showed up in my in-box. That, my friends, is powerful.
Are you currently going through your own cancer battle? Are you in the Survivor group or the remission crowd? Are you a person who has a house to donate for a week? If any of these things apply to you, check out Little Pink Houses of Hope. You can learn all about the program and the people on their website, how to apply, who is eligible, what costs you will incur, and of course, where all of the different retreats take place.
*I was not asked or paid to blog about LPHOH. I was so thrilled to be accepted and learn more that I wanted to share it with all who read my words.