Each month, I receive stories from men and women of all ages who tell me they’ve recently discovered love and romance.
When I ask how they met, I often learn that they took one small step in the right direction, such as signing up on “Plenty of Fish,” attending a senior dance, enrolling in a class or volunteering their time at a fundraiser.
So I decided it was probably time I share my own personal love story with you. So here it is, exactly as it appears in my book--Hot Chocolate for Senior Romance ~ How Sweet It Is--and is written by David.
“The Lady of My Dreams” by David Weir
My personal sojourn to Loma Linda, California, began in late January 2008, following a treacherous two-day drive over snowy mountain roads from my home in Denver. Like many other men diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer, I had little knowledge or concern about this issue until an elevated PSA test, followed by a confirmation biopsy, captured my attention faster than one of Superman’s speeding bullets.
Typical of what others may have experienced, I was offered the options of surgery, external beam radiation and internal radiation “seeding” as viable courses of treatment, with no mention of possible nasty side-effects that might impair continence or sexual potency.
While pondering what, if anything, I should do about my situation, I ran across the annual “Medicine and Hospital” issue of U.S. News & World Report while passing through an airport during the fall of 2007. In it was a full-page ad describing the proton radiation program at Loma Linda University Medical Center, with a toll-free number to call.
Whether this ad caught my eye by coincidence or divine intervention is hard to say, but I couldn’t wait to get back to Denver to check things out. In addition to receiving a timely orientation packet and video from Loma Linda, I was quickly put in touch with prostate cancer survivor Bob Marckini and his book, “You Can Beat Prostate Cancer…And You Don’t Need Surgery to Do It.”
After reading the book and speaking with Bob on the phone, I instinctively knew that this was the best way for me to go. And so today, I count myself as one of the lucky alumni of the LLUMC proton radiation program. I was not only healed from cancer with no nasty side-effects, but I also experienced the very best of Loma Linda’s motto and philosophy — to “heal the whole person.”
And now, as Paul Harvey was famous for saying, for the rest of the story… Unlike most of the other men going through the 90-day treatment program at Loma Linda with their wives in residence with them, I came alone as a newly minted Medicare-age single.
Yes, I admit I was open to meeting other singles in the area, but had no expectation of actually doing so as golf, swimming, table tennis, serving as a volunteer pianist in the hospital lobby, plus various support group activities, were readily available.
Then everything changed in a “New York minute” when I attended a free ballroom dancing lesson, taught by Reuben at the Loma Linda Senior Center, in early February. I met a lovely lady by the name of Jan Fowler. Jan just happened to be at this senior center in connection with a television segment she was hosting from a nearby cable station in San Bernardino; the segment was for her show, “Jan Fowler Presents: Senior Moments.” It didn’t take long before Jan and I became both dancing and romantic partners — in the midst of my “radiation vacation” and beyond. Forget about winning the lottery; I had just discovered the lady of my dreams! Whether our meeting was just coincidence or, again, divine intervention I sometimes wonder, but I can say for sure that it was another life-changing event for me during my journey of healing at Loma Linda.
So in more than one way, I feel I have been blessed by my whole experience. And yes, in case you’re wondering, after many wonderful loving years together, Jan and I are still waltzing in the direction of our dreams! Carpe diem.
Jan Fowler is an award-winning columnist and author of four books. She may be contacted at email@example.com.