"As I mentioned to Denise, I don’t know if my little family of 3 (or the 9 we brought) would have enjoyed it as much if we had gone alone. For me it was comforting to have support people surrounding me, even if all they did was say hello in the halls. I never felt like the pink elephant in the room, as bald cancer patients often do. My husband said our little Stage 4 community made it extra special for him. He enjoyed meeting other caregivers and not feeling like an outcast. And that fellowship was all created and sustained without the constant health complaints, whining and tears that seem to occur in our every day Stage 4 life. Several months ago, after a year of aggressive and painful treatment, my husband and I jointly decided it would be better for us if I stopped treatment. I had the worst possible reactions to every drug I tried and every scan showed progression after progression. My goal from my initial diagnosis was to feel as well as I can for as long as I can. Chemo, hormonal, and immune therapy made that very challenging. It is my belief, that in my case, cancer was far less painful and intrusive than any of the treatments I tried. So it made sense to go off all treatment and coast my way into hospice. It was shortly after that, the decision was made that we signed up for The Great Escape. This Escape became goal number one. I needed to hit my 50th birthday on this cruise, put my toes in the sand, swim in the water, and laugh with my family and friends. I succeeded on all fronts and I will be forever thankful for Denise and her inspiring words to get me to this place. ER/PR +, HER-, mets to lung, spine, bones, lymph and liver."