Mary Traecy O’Keefe and I go way back – 40 years at least – working together at a Mr. Steak Restaurant in the Midway area of St. Paul, MN. We talk a bit about that at the beginning of the interview. It is amazing how people come and go in our lives. I am grateful for this re-connection and for this interview.
Mary is the Co-Founder and President of Well Within, a warm, welcoming nonprofit resource center in St. Paul. She hosts the weekly Hope, Healing and WellBeing WebTalk Internet Radio show. Our conversation hopefully inspired some listeners. I know that I enjoyed sharing the message of patience, persistence and faith that helped me to thrive as a cancer survivor.
I received a phone call yesterday from another person from my past. 44 years ago, we graduated from high school together. She had seen the article in the StarTribune and decided to call. She has also had an experience with sarcoma in her arm. Way too small a world! While her treatment did not include amputation, she has had three surgeries and the fear that the cancer will return keeps that concern on her radar screen. I am grateful for this phone call.
People are so very important in supporting us in our narrow spots. A countless number of people supported me and held me up in a beautiful, palpable web of support, care, concern and prayer during the time of my active cancer treatment. They surrounded me with kindness, compassion, strength, guidance, generosity and grace. I pray that my gratitude is sufficient.