Peripatetic. Such has been my existence as of late.
No complaints. I have always craved the traveling life and feel extremely fortunate that I have been provided with these opportunities.
First, the annual Hope Summit sponsored by LUNGevity and now referred to by some acronym I shall never use (the world doesn’t need another acronym, but it can never get enough HOPE).
Each year this giant reunion of my lung cancer family becomes ever more meaningful. One big love fest. And given the fact that the majority of the attendees are living with a terminal illness, you’d never believe how much fun we cram into those few days.
LUNGevity outdid themselves this year, with the best lineup of speakers yet. I was honored to be part of a committee that planned the conference as well as to sit on a panel, ostensibly about palliative care, but titled Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll. Next year I think we should drop the pretense and just jump right into an extended conversation per the living part of dying.
A little over a week post conference, I returned to DC for my annual get together with some of my childhood friends. We can’t not have a good time (really) and they too are like family to me. Kate, Melinda, Sally—I love you so.
I caught my breath (sort of) before departing for Florence, Italy on the 27th of May. This was an opportunity that came about because A. my friend Marc comes to Florence every summer and invited all his friends to join him and B. as I just turned 59 and 1/2, I have access to my retirement fund without penalty. If I thought I was going to live to 80 I might not touch it but friends, the reality is somewhat different. And in its own way, freeing.
It’s going to be interesting to see if I run out of money or breath first. Fortunately I now have a little wiggle room in both areas and I’m going to give life a run for its money. So to speak.
So yes, Florence. Dream of a lifetime. Second full day here we climbed the Duomo. 463 steps up, 463 down. I did it, y’all. Fourth in line and only had to let four people pass me on the way up. All young enough to be my children. Own that, lung cancer.
And of course I have been taking lots and lots of photos. Should you like to share in some of my experience, give me a follow on instagram: @Linnea Olson.