Tim and Laura King, Laura Kills Cancer

Like cancer, Covid has taken a great deal from us over the last two years.  This weekend we finally got at least a piece of it back.

We headed off to foot of the Allegheny Mountains this past weekend to a retreat that we have come to call  “Cancer Camp”.  The proper name is Camp Raising Spirits, an annual event hosted by The Greater Pittsburgh Chapter of the Oncology Nursing Society (https://campraisingspirits.com).  The weekend is designed to give cancer patients, survivors and guests a chance to get away from their battle for a weekend to relax and bond with others on the same path.

This was such a relaxing weekend.  The theme for the weekend was “Life is a Circus”.  I found a feather headpiece and a T-shirt that read “This is my Circus and These are My Monkeys” written on it for myself and a clown hat, tie & nose for Tim.  Gotta love Amazon!!

We were able to see old friends from previous cancer camps and made some new friends.  Everyone has a story about their journey and we all offer each other support and understanding.  

Tim and I both were able to get a massage; that was beyond wonderful!!  We both took a gardening and a yoga class too.  

Friday night’s event was O’Ryan The O’Mazing.  He’s a clown and walks on stilts.  I was one of the volunteers on stage along with Chris and Heather.  That’s Frank, the rubber chicken, in the box on top of the sticks in the attached pictures. 

Saturday night’s event was Weird Eric the Balloon Artist and again, I was one of the volunteers on stage.  Anybody shocked???  Iron City Aerial  performed all sorts acrobatics.  Tim and I commented on how muscular these young ladies are.

There is also some time to just kick back and take in nature.  There is a small waterfall at the edge of the camp where a lot of us wandered for a couple of minutes of solitude.  We also took a golf cart ride to the top of an adjoining hill to take in the view of a billion stars overhead far away from the city lights.  You can almost feel all of the tension of the week oozing out of you standing there with the entire universe unfolding above you.

Because of the year-round efforts of the Oncology Nursing Society the weekend costs campers less than a decent meal these days and the campers still in treatment have their weekends paid in full.  

I give so much credit to The Greater Pittsburgh Chapter, Oncology Nursing Society for organizing this amazingly rewarding event.