Enjoying a beautiful city with a beautiful friend – without ever leaving my bed

Carruaje de época en la Feria de Abril de Sevi...

Carruaje de época en la Feria de Abril de Sevilla (año 2008). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Several years ago on Colon Talk, the discussion forum at the Colon Club, I met another stage IV survivor who used the screen name Azahar. Shawn, a Canadian expat, lived in Sevilla, Spain, and we spent a lot of time discussing our cancers and our treatments.

One of Shawn’s businesses is Sevilla Tapas, where she provides personalized guided tapas tours to visitors to Seville. I wanted to visit Seville in the worst way – but since I couldn’t get it into my treatment schedule, I eagerly followed the photos she tweeted and Facebooked – scenes of Seville and surrounding towns, and some of the most beautiful small plates. On chemo days, when nothing would tempt me to eat, Shawn’s daily tapas shots teased me with appetizing beauty. She even helped me with my own food shots – which were scarily amateur by comparison.

At the beginning of the month, I guest-blogged “No more room in the bucket” for the folks at Fight Colorectal Cancer. And in that guest blog, Shawn told me that she’d completed a virtual Seville and tapas tour with me.

I was speechless when I first saw the video. In fact, it took me several days to watch the whole 20 minute video, because I kept crying and having to shut it down. I couldn’t believe that Shawn put the tour together, that so many others were also involved, that waiters were saying hello to me in Spanish and that chefs were preparing dishes for a woman they’d never met who was enjoying their kindness from 2400 miles away (or however far away Seville is from Syracuse.)

We meet a lot of people on our cancer journey…sometimes IRL (in real life) and sometimes only in the virtual world. IRL is always better – but virtual meetings and virtual friendships can also be very strong.

So gracias, mi amiga – I can never repay you for the feelings I’ve enjoyed while knowing you. And now, I can watch “Pat in Sevilla” from start to finish – and imagine what it would have been like to meet you, and REALLY tour your beautiful city. Gracias – seems so inadequate, and yet it’s the warmest word for what I feel for you.


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  1. Lynne says:

    What an amazing gift. I’m touched by your friendshop.

  2. click here says:

    Fantastic website. Lots of useful information here. I’m sending it to several buddies ans also sharing in delicious. And naturally, thanks for your effort!

  3. […] A while back I mentioned “Gaelen’s “  (otherwise known as Pat)  decision to stop treatment and seek hospice care.  She isn’t posting much, but she did offer this beautiful story. http://patsteer.com/2012/05/enjoying-a-beautiful-city-with-a-beautiful-friend-without-ever-leaving-m… […]

  4. Belle Piazza says:

    Wow. I finally got around to reading this – and I’m speechless. What an amazing and kind thing to do. Freaking awesome is all I can say.

  5. Julia Gallagher says:

    Hi Pat. Just wanted to drop you a note here. I’ve sent you a few messages on the CC, but not sure if you ever get my messages there. I just wanted you to know how much you’ve meant to me over the last year and a half. You’ve been the voice of reason and logic when I had no where else to turn. My first experience with you on the board was a little hard to take, but it did make me ask myself some hard questions and I think I’m better for it. Thank you for your candor and honesty through all this. You have been my teacher, without knowing it I’m sure.

    The video is wonderful. Your friend in Spain was so lucky to have you in her virtual life, even if not IRL, and it shows. You rock!

  6. lorraine says:

    This is one of the kindest things. How lovely. Glad you enjoyed your virtual tour, but I bet you couldn’t stop your mouth from watering! Think of you often.

  7. What an incredible gift! You are both wonderful people.