As of May 11, 2013, Dreama Travis, owner of the Old Mill House Bed & Breakfast, is 70 years old, and as a cancer survivor, every birthday is an extra special milestone. InnVirginia is pleased to share Dreama’s story in honor of the recent 26th Annual National Cancer Survivors Day:
“Three years ago I was diagnosed with Stage IV Endometrial Cancer—inoperable and incurable. It had metastasized to my lung, pelvis and diaphragm. I was at a ski resort in Arizona when I began having chest pains and couldn’t breathe. My daughter rushed me to the ER where I was told I had a mass in my lung. I immediately flew back to Virginia and began the process of testing to determine the type and stage. Amidst all the drama and pain, the blizzard came and left me without phone service for a week, unable to communicate with doctors and my family. It was just me and God and of course the new knowledge that things were not looking good.
I closed the B&B and spent most of my days lying on the sofa in front of the fireplace or making trips to Charlottesville for endless testing and doctor visits. Neighbors were wonderful to dig me out and drive me. My daughters, who live out of state, left their families and came to help and were such a blessing. The next couple of years, I spent opening and closing the B&B and giving massages but I had to push through the cleaning, cooking and being hospitable.
Last spring I was told that I ‘didn’t have much longer.’ Once again, I closed the business and began getting things in order for my children. After much thought, I decided to stop all cancer drugs and live the amount of time I had left. I chose quality of life over quantity of life and I wanted to take the holistic approach. I began eating whole foods with no pesticides or hormones, juicing and eliminating sugar and other things that fed the tumors. I started a moderate exercise program, yoga, along with prayer and meditation and made a concerted effort to keep stress at bay. I immediately started feeling better, my energy returned and the doctors are now amazed at my test results and vital signs.
Cancer has been a door to many blessings in my life. Even times of pain and adversity can be seen as opportunities for growth for which I can be grateful. My wonderful friends at the Inns at Montpelier held my hand every step of the way. They brought flowers, fresh eggs, food and provided on-going therapeutic massage which was all part of the healing package. My church family did all lawn work, made me a prayer quilt, catered to my every whim and prayed without ceasing. My neighbors showed up on my doorstep often with bucket and cleaning supplies in one hand and comfort food in the other. One is an oncology nurse and she dressed my wounds and gave much-needed advice. My mother and my daughters, sisters, brothers and extended family provided support in every way possible. The outpouring of love simply cannot be described. I could go on forever.
The take-away message here is, after a long roller-coaster ride, I’M OPEN FOR BUSINESS. The year 2012 brought two major storms ripping apart the Old Mill House…After coming very close to closing permanently, I’m eager to dive in and once again start enjoying guests and providing them with a place not only to lay their heads at night but also to drink in the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains, surrounding creeks and river and nature at its finest, a place I appreciate more than ever.”
If you would like to contact Dream about reserving a room at the Old Mill House, you can send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give her a call at 540- 948-6287.